Economic Benefits and Impacts of Monorail from Frederick to Shady Grove along I-270

For the High Road Foundation, EBP assessed the economic benefits and regional economic impacts of a proposed monorail line along the I-270 corridor in Maryland.

The proposed monorail between Frederick (Frederick County) and the Shady Grove Metro station (Montgomery County) will relieve congestion on I-270, support sustainable growth, and improve regional access. By providing enhanced access to employment, commerce, and residential locations, the monorail will improve the overall performance of the regional transportation system, and deliver benefits to both users of the system, and to other travelers who remain on the roadway network.

EBP’s analysis includes two types of economic outcomes and evaluations. The monorail project will improve transportation system performance, resulting in time and money savings for people and businesses, improved safety, and fewer negative environmental effects from vehicle emissions. Societal benefits capture these performance effects and their value to society in monetary (dollar value) terms. The monorail additionally generates wider economic impacts within the economies of Frederick and Montgomery counties in Maryland. These are measured in terms of the additional jobs, business revenue, labor income, and regional value added generated by the monorail, through improved productivity and regional competitiveness. Policies to support development around the Monorail stations could further magnify the expected economic impacts and travel efficiency benefits while also supporting sustainable development goals.

The EBP economic analysis built on travel modeling conducted by other consultants using the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG)/National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) travel demand model, which incorporates the latest regional planning assumptions. The travel modeling results serve as inputs for the economic modeling that used TREDIS (Transportation Economic Development Impact System) decision support system.