A May 1 Bethesda Now article reported that Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett has revived the Transit Task Force to review his proposed creation of an Independent Transit Authority (ITA). Leggett had previously introduced state legislation (HB 104) during the 2015 Session that would have authorized the County to create the ITA but had the bill withdrawn after the proposal received significant criticism from the County Council and civic leaders. From the article:
County spokesperson Patrick Lacefield said Leggett hopes the Task Force can, “take a look at how to wrestle this problem to the ground,” and that while Leggett is still open to other funding suggestions, “he also feels like he’s got a good proposal.”
As first proposed, the ITA would plan, design, engineer, build, fund and operate the county’s existing Ride On bus service and planned Rapid Transit System. It would do so through a new transit tax and by issuing its own bonds.
Critics pointed out the ITA would be able to create that new transit tax without being subject to the county’s Charter limit. …
[Task Force Chair Mark] Winston said the Task Force is aiming to finalize its recommendations by the Sept. 30 deadline and that “there is no foregone conclusion” that the group will support the ITA.
The article also noted that the Task Force has met once and that its next meeting is scheduled for May 6.