By Bruce DePuyt
February 13, 2020
State spending on transportation favors roads over transit, and the Washington, D.C., area over the Baltimore region, advocates for the Baltimore area complained on Feb. 12.
At a news conference outside the State House, representatives from the city and surrounding counties urged the legislature to support a bill that would require the state Department of Transportation to dramatically boost spending on bus and rail projects.
Senate Bill 424 and House Bill 368 would require the state to allocate at least $500 million to the Maryland Transit Administration for capital projects in each of the next five years. MTA capital funding in the state’s rolling six-year Capital Transportation Program has averaged $370 million annually in recent years.
The bills would mandate a boost in operating revenues as well.
The Hogan administration is urging the legislature to reject the measures. In a letter to lawmakers, MDOT said the bills would require the agency to redirect funds from other projects throughout the state.
The transportation advocates who gathered in Annapolis on Feb. 12 said increased spending on transit is necessary to correct what they called an imbalance in MDOT’s allocation of resources.
“There’s only been a 2% increase in spending in the MTA” since the General Assembly approved an increase in the gas tax, said Donald C. Fry, president of the Greater Baltimore Committee, a business group.
“Contrast that to the State Highway Administration, that’s seen a 77% increase since the fiscal year 2013. This would help us get some projects in the pipeline.”
To read the full story, visit Maryland Matters’ website.
Source: Maryland Matters