Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett today joined federal, state and local officials at an opening ceremony for the new Glenmont Metro Station parking garage that nearly doubles parking for riders.
The garage was built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, helping the County attain its sustainability goals. This second garage at Glenmont Station is located on the west side of Georgia Avenue and replaced one of the station’s Kiss & Ride lots. It adds an additional 1,200 parking spaces, bringing the total number of parking spaces at Glenmont to 3,000.
“Improving access to transit is one of the County’s highest priorities in our fight to reduce traffic congestion,” said Leggett. “The popularity of the Glenmont station means we are succeeding in our efforts to encourage commuters to take advantage of mass transit options. The demand for parking at Glenmont has been overwhelming. More parking options at Glenmont will be a welcome addition for commuters who, over the years, have been turned away due to lack of station parking.”
Leggett was joined by U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), County Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) Board Member Kathy Porter, State Senator Roger Manno and other community leaders and transportation officials.
“The Glenmont Garage will be a major step forward for all types of commuters,” said Navarro. “We ask residents to use the most efficient form of transportation, but we do not always provide the means and the incentive to make it convenient. For many years, residents in this area have told us they want to take Metro, but the parking situation has made that impossible. This commitment will take more than a thousand cars off the road every morning and shows how we can maximize use of infrastructure we already have in place.”
A canopy connects the garage entrance to the Metrorail entrance. The garage features customer assistance phones, extra lighting, digital security cameras and a police room to enhance security. Parking at the garage costs $4.75. Parkers can use a ‘SmartTrip’ fare card or credit card for payment.
The garage has six levels of parking, with one level below ground. The design incorporates a number of environmentally sensitive features to earn the garage a LEED rating, including energy efficient light fixtures and measures to reduce energy use; maximization of recycling and reuse of construction, demolition and land clearing debris; and use of building materials that are locally produced or contain recycled content. LEED is a rating system developed by the United States Green Buildings Council that identifies criteria that positively impact the energy and environmental characteristics of a building, including sustainability of a site, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
The cost of the garage was $24.7 million, and financing was provided from County revenue and liquor bonds backed by Metro; a special parking surcharge at all Metro stations in the County; and a $1.6 million matching grant from the State of Maryland.
To aid commuters during construction, Van Hollen obtained $500,000 in federal funds to purchase two new buses that enhanced the frequency of Ride On bus service to Glenmont Station.
“This has been a partnership with the County, and, after years of work on this important project, I’m pleased that the new Glenmont Metro Parking Garage will officially open,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen. “This new, LEED-certified garage is good for transit and good for our environment.”
Most end of line Metro stations have at least 3,000 parking spaces to encourage commuters coming from areas with fewer transit options to use alternative transportation for at least part of their trip. The lack of available parking at Glenmont caused many commuters who wished to take transit to actually drive further to find space in another parking garage, or even forgo the use of transit altogether.
“One of Governor O’Malley’s top priorities is increasing transit ridership and creating more sustainable, walkable communities,” said Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley. “Today, we are taking a key step forward to getting more Marylanders out of their cars and onto transit by nearly doubling the parking spaces available at the Glenmont Metro Station.”
Metro managed the design/build project for the County and contracted with Forrester Construction Company, a local Rockville firm. The garage will be operated and maintained by Metro.
“By increasing parking at Glenmont from just under 1,800 spaces, to almost 3,000 parking spaces, we are making Metro a much more attractive alternative to driving down Georgia Avenue,” said Kathy Porter, Metro board member representing Montgomery County. “This is a great project for Montgomery County and for Metro customers.”
The Glenmont Metro Station first opened in 1999. With an average of about 6,000 weekday boardings, the station has the fifth highest ridership of transit stations in Montgomery County.