We at the Maryland Department of Transportation remain committed to keeping you informed, educated and updated. As you read this newsletter, you will find tips and other resources to help all Marylanders stay safe as organizations address a combination of remote and office working environments. For those that are commuting, we hope you will find your commute easier and that you continue to remain safe. From the MDOT family
to yours, we wish you and your family a safe, healthy, and productive new year.
New Year, New Resolutions
The start of a new year is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the year and set new goals for 2021. Whether you are working remotely, commuting into the office, or a combination of the two, New Year’s resolutions are a great way to kick off the new year.
- Be healthy – walk daily during your lunch break
- Keep a work/life balance - Log off at “quitting time”
- Organize your workspace and remove clutter
- Make your workspace eco-friendly
- Give transit a chance following safety guidelines, and if it works for you, commit to taking transit once a week
- Consider biking or walking to work in good weather this spring
- Pack a brain-boosting lunch and snack to stay healthy
- Learn how easy it is to provide commuter benefits to your employees
- Implement commuter benefits that work for your business and employees
- Take advantage of the Maryland Commuter Tax Credit & the Federal Transportation Fringe Benefits
- Try new benefits that work for your business
Whatever choice you make, remember to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.
Spotlight on The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
AOPA team members at the 2019 Commuter Connections Award Ceremony
The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), an advocacy group for general aviation based in Frederick, Maryland, has a unique work-life balance philosophy, which helps them attract and retain top talent, including Millennials. AOPA created an internal task force, comprised of employees from every division, which helped shape and implement the “work-life balance program.” This program is designed to provide staff with the flexibility and options to create
a schedule that best fits them, including telework, flexible schedules, and compressed work weeks.
“Our work-life balance program makes us more competitive for talent attraction and retention.”
- Peggy Yusko, Director of Benefits at the AOPA
To learn more about the AOPA’s work-life balance program and to read the full story, click here.
To learn more about the AOPA’s work-life balance philosophy, click here to watch their session from the Commuter Choice Maryland’s Lunch & Learn Webinar Series.
This webinar will provide information on the MDOT MTA Statewide Transit Plan and will include an overview of the draft vision and goals of the plan, highlights from the public survey responses, and a summary of existing and projected trends impacting transit.
During this webinar the Greater Washington Partnership will discuss the findings of The Capital COVID-19 Snapshot: Return to Work
. The survey and transit tracker is designed to increase
regional information and data sharing so employers, both large and small, can make more informed decisions about reopening, and public agencies can better understand when employees are expected to return to their offices and worksites. The webinar will address comparisons between surveys conducted in August and this fall.
Rideshare Coordinator Spotlight: Stacey King, Prince George’s County
Stacey King is the new Transportation Demand Management specialist for Prince George’s County.
Gladys Hurwitz, with Commuter Choice Maryland, had the pleasure of interviewing Stacey about her experience working in Travel Demand Management, outreach efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, and information about the County RideSmart program.
To get in touch with Stacey and to learn more about how she can help you, please see her contact information below.
To read the full interview with Stacey, click here!
In November 2020, The Chesapeake Chapter of the Association of Commuter Transportation (ACT) presented their annual awards. Two of Maryland’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Specialist/ Rideshare Coordinators were presented with awards!
George Clark of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland was named 2020’s Outstanding TDM Professional. George is a driving force in the region and the State for TDM, where he works with nine local organizations to promote carpooling, vanpooling, telework, flexible work schedules, biking programs, and other TDM programs. He takes great pride in his work and is always happy to assist his customers and colleagues.
Kendall Tiffany of Frederick TransIT received the 2020 President’s Award. Kendall is responsible for the marketing and rideshare programs for Frederick County’s transit system, but she also makes time to serve as the Secretary for the ACT Chesapeake Chapter. In her role as Secretary, she participates in the Chapter’s board meetings; provides insight about the Chapter’s direction; and prepares minutes and reports.
What is your business doing?
Make sure you know about current commuting initiatives and information throughout the State. Click the button below to sign up for our distribution list to receive quarterly newsletters and webinar notifications or to contact a member of our Commuter Choice Maryland team.
Has your business implemented new telework policies and programs during the COVID-19 pandemic? If you answered yes and are interested in working with us and becoming a Commuter Choice Maryland partner, contact us today! We would love to spotlight your organization on the Commuter Choice Maryland website and in future newsletter publications. Employees love businesses who offer commuter benefits!
Tips of the Quarter:
Biking during Winter Weather
“Hello darkness, my old friend.” This song lyric is especially poignant during the winter months when the sun sets in the 4 pm hour. Though the evenings are darker, and the temperatures are cooler, it does not mean you need to stop biking. Remember these tips to stay safe and warm while biking this winter.
- Use front and rear lights
- Wear layers, gloves, and warm socks
- Wash your bike after every ride
- Hydrate before long rides and insulate your liquids
- Wear bright colors
Winter is a great time to try fat tire biking, which provides better stability and rolls over snow much easier. Most Maryland bike shops rent fat tire bikes if you would like to try one out.
Stay Informed on Bike and Pedestrian News and Initiatives in Maryland
MDOT has a plethora of active transportation information on our website. Learn about walking programs, Bikeways grant information, upcoming meetings and webinars, and much more by clicking the button below.
All Aboard: MDOT is Seeking Public Input for the Update of the Maryland State Rail Plan
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) has launched an update of the Maryland State Rail Plan, and is seeking input from MARC and Amtrak rail passengers, the general public and other freight and passenger rail stakeholders through an online survey and other avenues to help set priorities and goals for efficient, safe and sustainable freight and passenger rail service across the state.
The 20-year Maryland State Rail Plan includes a listing of rail projects and outlines public and private investments and policies that help MDOT work with the railroad industry and others to support rail needs. The plan, updated every five years, focuses on MARC, Amtrak and freight operators, including CSX, Norfolk Southern and regional operators across the state. The plan does not include Light Rail or Metro subway service. State rail plans are required under
the federal Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008, and serve as a guide and resource during applications for federal funds through grants and other programs.
Passengers, residents and others are invited to take part in an online survey now available HERE. The survey is available online through January 15, 2021, and asks participants to give impressions of existing service, rank their priorities for future rail service and offer suggestions for
new or expanded infrastructure. Comments may also be submitted via email to [email protected], or mailed to MDOT Office of Freight and Multimodalism, ATTN: Maryland State Rail Plan, 7201 Corporate Center Dr., Hanover, MD 21076. For more information on the Maryland State Rail Plan update, click HERE.
After the public comment period, an advisory committee will review comments, hold meetings and conduct stakeholder interviews. A draft of the updated plan is expected to be prepared by summer 2021.
The 20-year Maryland State Rail Plan is required by the Federal Railroad Administration and is developed by MDOT’s Office of Freight and Multimodalism and Office of Planning and Capital Programming, in collaboration with the MDOT Maryland Transit Administration. The MARC and Amtrak passenger rail elements of the State Rail Plan will help inform the commuter and intercity rail component of
MDOT’s first-ever Statewide Transit Plan, which will provide a 50-year vision of all modes of coordinated local, regional and intercity transit across the state. The Statewide Transit Plan will define public transportation goals and strategies for Maryland’s rural, suburban and urban regions with a vision toward
increasingly coordinated, equitable and innovative mobility. Information gathered as part of each study will be shared between the two plans.
To learn more, visit the Maryland State Rail Plan page by clicking here.
The I-495 American Legion Bridge Transit and TDM Study
The I-495 American Legion Bridge Transit and Transportation Demand Management Study, in partnership with Department of Rail & Public Transportation, has released the draft recommendations for multimodal improvements along the corridor. A public comment period is open now through February 1, 2021. Click the button below to view the draft recommendations and submit comment.
For more information on Commuter Choice Maryland, please contact us at 410-865-1100 or email [email protected]
. Representatives are available to assist Monday—Friday, 8:00 am—4:30 pm. Visit our website at: www.commuterchoicemaryland.com
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