As Riders Return, MDOT MTA Dedicates Additional Funding to Improve Passengers’ Transit Experience Systemwide


‘Fast Forward’ Customer Experience Enhancement Project Invests $43M for
Speedier Trips, Dedicated Lane Expansions and Improved Passenger Safety and Access

BALTIMORE, MD (November 3, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) has announced the launch of its Fast Forward: Customer Experience Enhancement Project, a $43 million initiative funded by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Fast Forward is a wide-ranging effort that focuses on improving transit reliability, travel times and customer safety and access, with the overall goal to enhance the MDOT MTA passenger’s complete transit experience from door to door.

“MDOT MTA has overcome significant hurdles on a near-daily basis from the COVID-19 pandemic, and at the same time we’ve been planning ahead to make sure that when our riders are ready for their own ‘great comeback,’ we will be too,” said Holly Arnold, MDOT MTA Acting Administrator. “The Fast Forward project is a prime example of the ways we’re looking to rebuild better for all our riders – and attract new riders to transit too.”

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, transit ridership has faced significant declines nationwide. MDOT MTA recognizes that bringing passengers back requires a renewed emphasis on making transit a welcoming option for riders who might have other travel routines.

Improvements planned as part of the Fast Forward: Customer Experience Enhancement Project include:

  • designing and constructing additional dedicated bus lanes;
  • implementing transit signal prioritization;
  • making lane modifications that promote faster, more efficient transit;
  • creating new and enhanced transit hubs;
  • adding more bus shelters;
  • making ADA and pedestrian safety improvements near bus stops;
  • improving signage to convey real-time information; and
  • enhancing wayfinding along Light Rail routes.

These investments will be implemented with an accelerated schedule beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022 to strategically improve transit customers’ experience along the region’s most heavily traveled traffic and transit corridors.

“MDOT’s commitment to an accessible transportation network for everyone means not only providing transit options, but making them modern, convenient and reliable,” MDOT Secretary Greg Slater said. “The Fast Forward initiative, through the addition of elements like transit signal prioritization, additional dedicated bus lanes and new bus shelters, supports MDOT MTA’s mission to provide high-quality service to our customers, and reinforces our commitment to work with our regional partners in delivering that mission.”

MDOT MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MDOT MTA operates LocalLink and commuter buses, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, MARC Train service and a comprehensive Mobility paratransit system. MDOT MTA’s goal is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. As a participating agency in APTA’s Health and Safety Commitment Program, MDOT MTA is dedicated to keeping our employees and passengers safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit or check us out on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland

NOTE: MDOT MTA Acting Administrator Holly Arnold will be available to speak with media about the Fast Forward: Customer Experience Enhancement Project between 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. on November 3. To schedule an interview, please contact Brittany Marshall at 443-970-0424, or Paul Shepard at 443-622-4181.