Maryland's transportation secretary, Hermann K. Intemann, agreed Monday that cab service for passengers going to the Baltimore-Washington International Airport limousine terminal in Greenbelt should be divided between cabs from Prince George's and Montgomery counties.
Following a meeting with Prince George's County council Chairman Francis W. White, Intemann ordered Airway Limousine Service Inc., which is funded by the state, to begin accepting bids for the service from cab companies in August. For the past 18 months the Yellow Cab Company of Montgomery County has had an exclusive contract with ALS to pick up all passengers at their homes and take them to the terminal, which is in Prince George's County.
The passenger pays $8 for the cab and the limousine. The service was initiated by the state in order to encourage people to use mass transit to reach the airport.
In an angry letter to Intemann, dated April 20, White, speaking for the council, said, "It is unconscionable that a contract which operates under the aegis of a state program is not open for competitive bidding."
The letter added that under the Prince George's County code, taxis not licensed in the county" . . . have no rights to solicit business or transport other passengers in this county."
On Monday, Intemann agreed to White's demand that bidding be opened. Contracts will go to a Prince George's cab company for calls from the county. A Montgomery cab company will handle all calls there.
White also told the council that Intemann had agreed that all passengers riding from the Greenbelt terminal to their homes would take Prince George's cabs unless drivers at the terminal agreed it would be easier for a Montgomery cab to make the trip.
"I pointed out to the secretary that the terminal is located in Prince George's County and therefore cabs from here should have priority on rides originating from there," White said "I think this agreement should solve our problem."
The council had threatened to file suit against the state if the exclusive contract were not eliminated.
In other action, the council approved for public hearing an amended version of a resolution changing water and sewage maps to allow construction of a housing development in Bowie.
Initially, the developers, Bowie Golf Club Inc., had planned to build 180 dwellings on half-acre plots, plus a nine-hold golf course and a recreation area on the 130.61-acre site.
The amended plan eliminates the golf course and increases the number of building lots to 220 while retaining the recreation area.
"I'm not saying I approve or disapprove of this plan," council member Francis B. Francois said in explaining the new plan to the council. "But I do think we should presnet it for public hearing as it is now constituted."
The public hearing on the plan will probably be held before the end of this month. Houses in the development would sell for $80,000 to $100,000 each, according to the plan.
The council also unanimously approved authorization of an additional $150,000 in Maryland State Manpower Services Funds to supplement the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) Youth Development and Training Program (YETP).
Previously, YETP has supplied 125 school youths with part-time, after school-work. The supplementary funds are expected to add another 175 youths to the program.
The funding had already been approved by County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. and needed only formal approval from the council.