YPT Baltimore 2019 Board Elections are Open

YPT Baltimore is now accepting candidate submissions for 2019 board positions! Join us as we continue to grow and provide opportunities for fellowship, networking, and professional development for our fellow transportation professionals.

Be a part of organizing our traditional quarterly meetups, tours, and happy hours in addition to some new and exciting events including Transportation Camp Baltimore, and a growing list of workshops and educational experiences with our chapter and partner organizations.

How to Run for a Board Position

If you are interested in running for a board position, follow the below listed steps

1. Go to yptransportation.org and confirm your active membership status with our chapter (you must be a dues paying member by October 1, 2018 to hold a board position).

2. Click this link to learn more about each board position and to fill out a candidate statement (you may submit statements for more than one position).
Candidate Statements are due September 15 30, 2018 at 11:59 PM.

3. Contact chair@yptbaltimore.org if you have any issues confirming your membership or filling out the candidate form.

What happens next?

Early September –  A reminder to submit candidate statements will be sent in our September newsletter and again on September 8th.
September 15 extended to September 30 – 
Candidate statements are due by 11:59 PM EDT via this link.

Early October – Final candidate statements and election procedures will be posted at yptbaltimore.org and distributed by link in our October newsletter. All candidates should have active membership with the Baltimore Chapter by October 1st.
October 15 – YPT International will send an election ballot to all dues paying members for Chapter and International elections by 9:00 AM EDT.
October 26 – Online elections will close at 8:00 PM EDT. Chapter and International members and nominees will be notified of the results shortly thereafter.
by October 30 – The 2018 YPT Baltimore Board will contact all incoming 2019 Board members to schedule a transition meeting and get new board members off to a good start for the year.
November 1 – 2019 Chapter and International Board terms begin.

We look forward to shaping the future of our chapter with you!

The YPT Baltimore Board of Directors

Another successful tour with a fellow YPT chapter!


Amtrak hosted YPT Baltimore yet again, but this time at its Ivy City Maintenance Facility with our neighboring YPT DC chapter. We later found out that the day of our visit happened to be the facility’s 30th birthday!

An amazing and friendly group of Amtrak staff welcomed our group and started the day off with a safety briefing before we outfitted ourselves with hard hats, safety goggles, and ear plugs (a growing fashion trend in the transportation industry!). We were warned by our guides to keep an eye out for moving locomotives, described as “quieter than your neighbor’s Prius.”

We were guided into the maintenance facility where it’s safe to say that the group immediately and simultaneously turned into excited children in a candy store. We walked around, into, and nearly underneath trains, trains, and more trains! It was impressive to witness a mix of old and new equipment and rolling stock, and how both old and new are now outfitted with technology that allows for real-time data collection and quality control.

We can’t recap the whole tour in a single blog post, but welcome our attendees to share their experience in the comments! Also, look forward to a blog post in the Washington Post by an attendee who reports on transportation!

After a delicious lunch from an Ivy City favorite, MGM Roast Beef, we were off to Union Station for a two-fold tour: (1) A look at the station’s past which, like many of us, had an embarrassing 80’s phase, and (2) A discussion on future redevelopment plans for the entire station. If sharing Ivy City’s 30th birthday wasn’t cool enough, we ran into outgoing Amtrak CEO Joe Boardman on his very last day before retirement. He was kind enough to take a photo with the group and thanked us for being engaged in transportation.


I don’t know how we’re going to top this tour, but we’re sure going to try! That said, take a look at the sidebar on our homepage and click the link to join our chapter’s board! You’ll have the chance to be a part of organizing great events like this for your fellow young professionals in transportation.

Until next time!

Getting there from here: Connecting Maryland through GTFS

This is a guest blog post by Jaime McKay! Jaime McKay and the MD TRIP team won the YPT Project of the Year Award for their project described in this here blog post. Give a big hurrah! for the MD TRIP team because they won a happy hour for their local chapter (that’s us!). A presentation will be given and drinks will be had, in no particular order. We’ll be posting the details soon, but leave you all with this light reading in the meantime…

TRIP team photo

Team members from left to right: Tim Wilke, Philip LaCombe, Hannah Younes, Jaime McKay, and Andrew Barrows. Not pictured: Chris Firehock

Raise your hand if you used any sort of interactive trip planner or transit app today. Many of us in the Baltimore Region rely on some form of technology to get us to and from the places we need to go each day, and sometimes, this can include taking transit. Many transit agencies in Baltimore (and throughout the US) have made their maps and schedules available online. However, when published in formats that tools like Google Maps and apps like Transit or NextBus can use, more people can access and utilize these interactive trip planning tools. While this is useful from a commuter’s perspective, it begs the question: what happens when there are no transit directions available?

Central Maryland Regional Transit’s TRIP team worked to establish statewide GTFS for Maryland. This allows people throughout the state — from Cumberland to Ocean City — to plan their trips using transit. The team of young professionals created 18 systems’ worth of GTFS and enabled access for hundreds of thousands of commuters across the state.

Developed by TriMet of Portland and Google, the General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) exists today as a commonly used, standardized format of transit data.  GTFS feeds allow transportation agencies from around the world the ability to publically display their transit data and schedules via Google Maps or other trip-planning services. The TRIP team decided to utilize the National Rural Transit Assistance Program’s (RTAP) GTFS Builder in order to generate transit feeds from around the State of Maryland because of its overall simplicity and no-cost arrangement.

GTFS, and our GTFS efforts in Maryland, are critically important to a number of vulnerable populations. For transit-dependent riders with low-English proficiency, GTFS through Google Transit or through third-party applications is able to automatically translate the information provided in English to over one hundred other languages, allowing these individuals access to crucial transit information and access to jobs, healthcare, and more. Because GTFS can function in a way that makes transit information so much more accessible, it also can accommodate transit agencies’ Title VI requirements.

The numbers don’t lie: because of the TRIP team’s work, 187 routes for 18 systems have been placed onto Google Transit and are fully accurate, up-to-date, and functional. This valuable effort serves transit-dependent populations throughout the state, and commuters will now have accurate information allowing them to make regional connections. Maryland, through the TRIP project, is the first state to create these feeds for transit agencies for no cost, using tools that most transit agencies already have access to.

Read on to see a comparison of a trip planner before and after GTFS was added for locally operated transit systems in Maryland. Continue reading