FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (November 9, 2023) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration is launching its new Youth Transit Council, a forum for 14- to 18-year-olds in the Baltimore region, to learn how the Maryland Transit Administration operates, offer suggestions and explore career options available in the public transportation industry. Teens between the ages of 14 and 18 interested in joining the volunteer council are invited to fill out a short, online application at mta.maryland.gov/youth-transit-council.
“Engagement with riders is key to improving our transit system,” said Maryland Transit Administrator Holly Arnold. “Today’s youth will inherit the transit system we’re planning and creating today – they are the region’s future bus and train riders. The Youth Transit Council will enable us to hear from younger riders directly to take their ideas into consideration.”
The council will provide youth with a forum to raise awareness and understanding of topics most important to their public transportation experience. By connecting volunteer members of the council with Maryland Transit Administration staff, the Youth Transit Council is designed to foster understanding and collaboration between the agency and its young customers.
“In order to give our transit customers premiere service, we must engage them and listen to their needs,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “As someone who grew up riding transit every day to attend high school in Baltimore, I know our young riders have a unique perspective on Maryland’s transit network. Through the Youth Transit Council, we hope to learn a lot from them, and maybe pique their interest in transportation careers.”
Applications will be accepted through December 8, and applicants should live in the Maryland Transit Administration’s core service area. The agency will choose 20 members to create a representative group across age, geography, demographics and schools. Members of the all-volunteer council will collaborate with other young riders, unlock exciting opportunities for career development in the transportation industry, earn service hours needed for high school graduation and gain insight on how a transit system functions. In addition, founding members will be engaged in developing core principles and practices, laying the groundwork for a program that has a lasting impact.
Youth Transit Council meetings are expected to begin in early 2024, and may be held in-person or virtually. Meeting times may vary and will generally be held Saturday mornings. Meetings will last approximately two hours. Applicants must be able to attend at least six meetings per academic year.
Meetings will be intended to allow presentation of youth interests and perspectives to agency decision makers; to facilitate the learning of real-world workplace skills; and to set participants up for success as they gain service-learning hours. Members also will be eligible to receive a letter of recommendation to use for future educational and career opportunities. More details about the Youth Transit Council is available at mta.maryland.gov/youth-transit-council.
The Maryland Transit Administration is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States, and operates Local Bus, Commuter Bus, Light Rail, Metro Subway, MARC Train Service and a comprehensive Mobility paratransit system. The goal of the Maryland Transit Administration is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. To learn more, visit mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.