With federal infrastructure funding on the table, local leaders are calling for a comprehensive strategy to improve the region’s public transit.
A group of civic leaders in Baltimore is calling on the city and the region to develop a comprehensive vision for the region’s mass transit—before federal infrastructure funds dry up. As Bruce DePuyt reports in Maryland Matters, “Their campaign, called Baltimore’s Transit Future, hopes to unite elected leaders, the business community and the public in support of a long-range plan to expand bus and rail service. They also want to make existing service more reliable.”
According to the article, “The effort will be shaped by six ‘pillars,’ which will include reducing the repair backlog, improving access to job centers, equity and the development of a 10-year ‘Rapid Transit Expansion Program.’” DePuyt notes that “Baltimore’s rail system pales in comparison to Metro, the commuter rail network in the Washington, D.C. region, even though both were launched at the same time. The region’s bus network performs below cities of comparable size.”
The campaign emphasizes that “As the region tries to bounce back from the pandemic, and with significant expansion underway at Tradepoint Atlantic, business leaders said the region is being held back by its substandard bus and rail operations.”
“Passage of a federal infrastructure bill has spurred conversations about the need to improve transit in Baltimore, with many advocates arguing for the creation of an authority similar to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).” DePuyt points out that “Leaders of the Baltimore’s Transit Future campaign said they are not endorsing the authority concept, nor have they coalesced behind any particular modes of travel or routes.”
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