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Finish the Silver Spring Transit Center

Letter to County Council
January 12, 2015

Action Committee for Transit strongly but unhappily supports the $16,750,000 supplemental appropriation to the FY15 Capital budget for the Silver Spring Transit Center. The alternatives of doing nothing, or pursuing the contractors for the funding to complete the center, are not acceptable. The Center needs to be funded now to make the repairs and make it safe for opening as soon as possible.

We realize you share our unhappiness about how the design, construction, and quality control has been managed, and the burdens that the delays have created. Most impacted has been Silver Spring --- the second most populous place in the County and a major business hub. Since September 2008, when ground was broken for the transit center, bus stops have been spread over several blocks uphill from the Metro station in order to make room for transit center construction. Each weekday morning for more than six years, over six thousand commuters board the Silver Spring Metro and have been inconvenienced by this spread-out bus situation. The County as a whole has been affected as well, by the cost overruns, degraded public transportation, and attention and resources diverted to managing the impact of the changes.

Hopefully the County has learned some lessons from the breakdown of responsibility and will do much better at coordinating projects in the future. Meanwhile, please fund and push the parties to finish the work correctly, and open the transit center!


Nick Brand, President