dr martens student discount Charlotte Hall bus line to aid local veterans
Effective Feb. 5, Calvert County veterans will be able to take a bus from Prince Frederick to Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.
The new Southern Maryland transit line will run five times a day, five days a week, Monday through Friday.
“Transportation access to health services by our veterans is a challenge for many. Having this bus route will greatly assist any who need transport to the [Community Based Outpatient Clinic], once that facility is constructed,” said Commissioners’ President Evan Slaugenhoupt (R).
CBOCs are clinics that provide outpatient health services for veterans, eliminating the need to travel to larger hospital facilities. Construction bids on a new CBOC slated for Charlotte Hall are expected mid February. Department of Veterans Affairs for the construction of a CBOC in Southern Maryland.
Tri County Council President John Hartline informed The Calvert Recorder that the transportation line was high on the committee’s list of priorities for quite some time, as the members were early advocates of the project. The study also revealed limited connectivity between the various public transit operators in the Southern Maryland region.
A 2016 Transportation Development Plan cited the need for a direct connection “to allow citizens the availability to expanded medical, educational, and employment opportunities,” said Calvert County Transportation Division Chief Sandy Wobbleton.
Wobbleton’s department submitted the original request for funding for the bus line to MTA through an annual transportation grant application. Wobbleton acknowledged the Tri County Council was a great asset in vocalizing the need for the connection and involved local stakeholders to gain support for the bus service.
Hartline confirmed the council advocated for funding for the route and was instrumental in the acquisition of roughly $70,000 from MTA for additional buses for the route, but explained the money actually went from MTA to Calvert County.
“We didn’t expect the funds to be forthcoming, but then we were told that [Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary George Owings] played a key role for Calvert to run the bus line,” said Hartline, giving kudos to Owings.
According to a Calvert County government press release, MTA’s investment accounted for 75 percent of the effort. The Calvert commissioners invested $23,456 from the county’s fiscal 2018 operating budget. The county then applied an additional $67,895 from its Capital Improvement Plan to purchase the new bus.
The new line will also provide direct connections for transfers between Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties’ public transportation service.
“This is the first time we’ve been able to get all three bus lines to come to the same place at the same time,” Hartline said. “This is big step forward in making it much easier to travel from Prince Frederick to Waldorf, to Lexington Park we’re finally there.”.