Transportation Goal 4
The community will be served by an efficient public transportation system that provides convenient and efficient access to regional destinations.
4.1 Expand the Availability of Public Transportation
STRATEGY: Explore opportunities for expanding the availability of public transportation to serve the greater Shepherdstown area.
JUSTIFICATION: Surveys, interviews and community discussions held as part of the development of the Comprehensive Plan consistently identified expanded access to public transit as a primary concern of the community. An expansion of current limited service between Martinsburg and Shepherdstown could help provide additional employment opportunities for Shepherd University Students who lack access to other means of transportation, and could provide better regional access for other residents in the community with similar transportation needs.
4.2 Expand Passenger Rail Service
STRATEGY: Work with other local governments in the region to expand the quality and frequency of passenger rail service to the Washington / Baltimore area.
JUSTIFICATION: As a community that is one of a number in the larger region served by MARC with passenger rail service to the Washington / Baltimore metro area, the town has a role in advocating for increased frequency and quality of the service provided to its residents. By expanding the frequency of trains that continue to or depart from the Duffields station (versus transfer bus service), residents in the region would have a wider range of options about when to leave and return from their long commutes. Improving the quality of service, perhaps with smaller express trains to West Virginia or by improving accommodations aboard the trains, could make the line a more attractive option and increase ridership, which could help to financially support this vital service.
4.3 Establish Direct Public Transit Connections to MARC
STRATEGY: Work with PanTran to establish direct bus connectionsbetween Shepherdstown and the Duffields MARC station.
JUSTIFICATION: Shuttle service from Shepherdstown to the MARC station at Duffields would enhance the ability of residents to access the MARC commuter rail service, while also increasing the capacity of the existing parking at the station since the share of the commuters driving from Shepherdstown would decrease. Direct shuttle service would also expand access to residents who do not have access to other means of transportation to travel to the station.
4.4 Provide Additional Local Access to Shepherd University Shuttles
STRATEGY: Encourage PanTran and Shepherd University to reroute the campus shuttle through downtown Shepherdstown, include scheduled stops in downtown and extend service to the Maddex Square area.
JUSTIFICATION: Shepherdstown has a unique opportunity to leverage the existing campus shuttle service at the university to expand public transit options in the community as a whole. By adding a scheduled stop in the downtown area and extending service along Route 45 to reach the Maddex Square area, the shuttle could more effectively transport students to destinations in town, allow residents in the core of the community to access the shopping center and provide residents in neighborhoods around MAddex Square with another transportation option to reach the core of the community. Allowing free community use of the shuttle service and expanding the geographic scope of service would also promote interactions between residents and university students and give the shuttle greater support in the community.