Tri-County Council for Western Maryland, Inc. serves as a Regional Coordinating Body for the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). The Council represents Western Maryland and includes Garrett, Allegany, and Washington Counties as well as rural parts of Frederick County and has the responsibility under the provisions of The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act for developing and carrying out a continuing, cooperative, and comprehensive transportation process for the region. With funding from the Federal Transit Administration, the MTA annually will disburse these funds to successful applicants who qualify for the 5310 and Senior Rides programs.
Projects funded through these programs must be derived from coordinated public transit-human services transportation plans for the respective region. More information on regional coordinated transportation plans is available at http://www.kfhgroup.com/marylandcoordinatedplans/. The development of the Western Maryland Coordinated Transportation Plan has provided a framework for future regional coordinated planning activities and has resulted in a new partnership between the MTA and Tri-County Council for Western Maryland. The Council will provide technical assistance to applicants applying for transportation related grants and is responsible for determining that projects requesting funds are consistent with the regionally adopted long-range transportation plan. Furthermore, the Council coordinates the local review committee to review, score, and forward the 5310 applications to MTA for consideration.
The Council will provide information on the region’s unmet transportation needs and issues as well as aid in the coordination of services among the region’s providers. Some examples include limited transportation options for those who live outside the fixed-route service areas, long distance medical transportation, limited options for dialysis trips, limited options for 2nd and 3rd shift jobs, access to paratransit vehicles that can operate over difficult terrain, marketing of services, and educating clients and advocates on how to use transportation services. Other duties include attendance of quarterly meetings in Hanover, MD, assistance with the logistics for regional meetings, participation on the regional meetings, and coordination and attendance of the annual Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM) conference. In addition, The Council also participates in the Allegany County Transportation Advisory Committee meetings and the Washington County Transportation Advisory Committee meetings.