Among the bills enacted this year is SB 850 which requires the Maryland Department of Transportation to study transit needs in Maryland and how transit in funded elsewhere in the country.
The study will be overseen by a steering committee comprised of six legislators and the secretaries of Transportation and Budget. The department must then issue a report in December, presumably in time to influence budget decisions in the 2007 legislative session. It has been more than five years since any effort of this kind has been undertaken, and the “unconstrained” needs will likely far outstrip any projected revenues.
Finding new transportation funding sources will take on an increasing sense of urgency over the next year as the GBC-supported Red Line in the Baltimore region and projects in the Washington region reach a point where finance plans are required. There is no funding in the current budget to build any of the projects.