The Greater Baltimore Committee announced its opposition to the proposed cuts to transit announced by the Maryland Department of Transportation. The business organization cited concerns that the cuts would disproportionately affect underserved communities, transit-dependent riders, and exacerbate the disparity of investment of state transportation funds as allocated between the state’s two metropolitan regions.
In a statement issued by GBC President and CEO Donald C. Fry, the organization stated:
The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) stands in opposition to the Hogan Administration’s recently proposed cuts to operating and capital funding for the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). These reductions will have a detrimental impact on the transit-dependent residents of the Greater Baltimore region.
In solidarity, we join Mayor Young, Council President Scott, County Executive Ball, County Executive Olszewski, and County Executive Pittman who collectively voiced their strong opposition to the proposed cuts. The GBC vows to support them in relentless advocacy to ensure that statewide transportation funding is reallocated in a more equitable manner.
While we recognize that revenue and ridership have been impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, we also recognize that the proposed reductions to capital and operating budgets represent choices that reflect this Administration’s priorities. The fact that Maryland’s contribution to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA’s) operating and capital budgets were 100 percent fully funded at the expense of sharp capital and service cuts in the Greater Baltimore region is unconscionable.
Moreover, this action reflects an egregious pattern of disinvestment in underserved communities in the Baltimore region where Black and Brown residents are reliant on already insufficient transit service to get to school, jobs, healthcare, and other essential activities. Analysis from TransitCenter indicates that 40 percent of transit commuters in Baltimore City work in essential job sectors, with hospital and health care workers representing the largest share of those riders.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted minority students, workers, communities and businesses. At a time when governments should be prioritizing resources to support those communities most impacted, the Hogan Administration and the Maryland Department of Transportation have taken the opposite approach by proposing service cuts that will exacerbate inequity and capital cuts that will deepen the disparity in transit investment among the state’s two metropolitan areas and further accelerate the disrepair of the Baltimore region’s transit system.
The Greater Baltimore Committee calls on Governor Hogan and the Maryland Department of Transportation to reprioritize and reallocate State transportation dollars more equitably. We urge business and civic leaders throughout the region, city and county elected officials, the state delegations from the region, and our regional Congressional representatives to join us in voicing strong opposition to these cuts and to make your voices heard.
ABOUT THE GREATER BALTIMORE COMMITTEE:
The Greater Baltimore Committee (GBC) is a regional organization of business and civic leaders that includes businesses, nonprofit organizations and educational and civic institutions. It is the leading voice for the private sector in the Baltimore region on issues relating to economic growth, job creation, workforce development, transportation, the business climate and quality of life. The GBC’s membership is comprised of over 500 member organizations, including large, mid-size and small companies, nonprofits, education and foundations in the Greater Baltimore region.