Funding for Baltimore’s planned 14.1-mile light rail Red Line from Woodlawn to Bayview is included in the proposed FY 2015 federal budget released yesterday by President Barack Obama.
Recommended capital investments under the Federal Transit Administration’s New Starts program includes $100 million each for the Red Line and for the proposed Purple Line project in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.
The two Maryland transit projects are among seven across the U.S. to be recommended for a combined $578 million in initial New Starts funding. Projects in Boston and Los Angeles also received $100 million grants, while projects in Portland, Orlando and Fort Worth are recommended to receive $65 million, $63 million and $50 million respectively.
Although the President’s proposed budget remains to be scrutinized and debated by a contentious, gridlocked Congress, the inclusion of capital funding for the Red Line is a significant validation of the Federal Transit Administration’s support for this project. Maryland transit officials are currently working with FTA administrators to gain a full-funding approval of the approximately $900 million federal portion of funding for the estimated $2.6 billion project.
Development of the Red Line has been a top priority of the Greater Baltimore Committee for strengthening the region’s transit. It’s the critical east-west light rail element that will transform our region’s existing north-south rail transit into an integrated system.
To view today’s story by Sun reporter John Fritze on President Obama’s proposed FY 2015 budget, click here.