New report measures economic benefits of Red and Purple lines

If the Red Line becomes a reality, it would generate more than 15,000 jobs and increase household earnings in the Baltimore region by $539.7 million, according to a report released on May 5 by Transportation for America. “The Red Line is a jobs line,” said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee. “It (the Red Line) is a critical piece for our economic growth.” The Greater … Continue reading

Transportation funding bill clears committee, sent to House floor

Governor Martin O’Malley’s legislation to increase funding for Maryland’s transportation infrastructure cleared the House Ways and Means Committee on March 18, receiving a 16-4 favorable vote with amendments. This is the first time in decades that a comprehensive bill to address the state’s growing transportation funding crisis — a top priority of the GBC — has reached the floor of a General Assembly chamber. A vote in the House is … Continue reading

Unmet county priority lists frame the need for transportation funding bill

  By Donald C. Fry Lawmakers today will begin to consider the transportation funding package proposed jointly by Governor O’Malley, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller as the House Ways and Means Committee holds the first hearing on the proposal. Transportation advocates, myself included, who are voicing strong support for this consensus proposal can expect to address one simple question: why does the state have to raise … Continue reading

Baltimore’s Penn Station – beyond the restrooms, a vision emerges

  By Donald C. Fry For Baltimore’s deteriorating 102-year-old Penn Station, a chronic sore subject for city leaders and for the region’s business executives who travel the railroad’s northeast corridor, a long-sought revitalization is underway, according to the top Amtrak executive for the railroad’s northeast corridor. Amtrak will make more than $850,000 worth of short-term improvements to the station this year, including renovating its restrooms, creating an outdoor plaza on … Continue reading

Business, labor leaders voice support for governor’s transportation bill

Leaders from Maryland’s business and labor sectors voiced unified support for transportation funding legislation proposed by Governor Martin O’Malley and the state’s two top legislative leaders. At a morning news conference on March 15, leaders from the Greater Baltimore Committee, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association and two representatives of construction-trade labor unions urged lawmakers to pass the proposed measure to raise $800 … Continue reading

Federal agency moves Baltimore Red Line a step closer to reality

  The proposed light rail Red Line for the Baltimore region took a step closer to becoming a reality on February 28 when the Federal Transit Administration issued a “record of decision” that signals the federal agency’s approval of the project’s preliminary engineering plans and environmental impact statement. The 14-mile east-west Red Line, which would run from Woodlawn through Baltimore City to Bayview and connect with north-south light rail and … Continue reading

Lessons from the port’s record year

  By Donald C. Fry It’s official. The Port of Baltimore had a record year in 2012. The 9.59 million tons of general cargo handled by the port’s public terminals in 2012 was the most ever, eclipsing the port’s previous record of 8.96 million tons handled in 2008, Governor Martin O’Malley announced this week. The port’s public marine terminals saw their best year in key cargo commodities, including autos, containers … Continue reading

New report cites costs of Maryland road, bridge deterioration

  Potential solutions to Maryland’s transportation funding problems include increasing gas taxes, sales taxes or various other sources of increased revenues that detractors say taxpayers can ill afford at this time. But what if these solutions were actually saving them money? A report released Feb. 28 by TRIP, a national transportation industry group, estimates Baltimore drivers lose nearly $1,800 a year to costs related to roadways that lack desirable safety … Continue reading

Daily Record, GBC publish special section on Baltimore’s port

  The Daily Record and the Greater Baltimore Committee have published a special report on the Port of Baltimore detailing its current business surge that positions it as a major economic engine and job generator for decades to come. The publication, which was inserted into the March 22 edition of the Daily Record, features reports on key factors that have driven the port’s surge and offers readers a look at … Continue reading