College Park Engineering Connector

The diagram below shows a possible automated road vehicle system to serve the engineering area of the University of Maryland's College Park campus. It is a single two-way line with a station at each end. The northwest end is located near the campus engineering buildings. The other end serves a station on the area's heavy rail system, as well as a station on a planned BRT or LRT known as the Purple Line.

Automated vehicle line connecting U of Md engineering buildings to Metrorail station While the automated vehicle line would carry some trips between the campus and the heavy rail station that would otherwise use the Purple Line, it is expected to result in a net increase in Purple Line riders. This is because riders from more distant stations on the Purple Line would have a better connection to the engineering area of the campus.

Automated vehicle line connecting U of Md engineering buildings to Metrorail stationThe automated vehicle line can be seen drawn over an aerial photo by clicking on the small image at the right. A higher resolution version is available here, but may take a long time to download.

A few sections of the line just east of Route 1 that are shown at grade may actually have to be elevated, and minor adjustments made to the alignment. This is because there may not be enough space between Paint Branch Parkway and a nearby wetlands area to fit a continuous at-grade exclusive roadway.

The two-way line is 1.5 km (0.9 miles) long. Although a thorough study has not been made, it appears that the vehicle's exclusive roadway could pass under an existing Route 1 bridge in space that is currently unused. On the west side of Route 1, a bike path that crosses the proposed alignment would be rerouted around the end of the line.

The images below show the two ends of the system in more detail. Each end has a station with four berths, and a vehicle is shown in each berth.

Automated vehicle line at engineering buildings Automated vehicle line at Metrorail station