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Op-Ed: Maryland Governor Is No Friend to Transit

According to this editorial, Governor Larry Hogan's decision to halt a planned $2.9 billion light rail line betrays a politically-motivated preference for roads.
June 30, 2015, 5am PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has decided against constructing the Baltimore Red Line, a rail project on the drawing boards for "a dozen or so" years, along with corresponding transit-oriented development projects. "The loss of the Red Line, the $2.9 billion, 14.1-mile east-west light rail line represented not only thousands of jobs but perhaps billions in development opportunities around the 19 planned stations between Woodlawn and Johns Hopkins Bayview."

The article claims Hogan is beholden to rural interests who favor roads over transit. "That Mr. Hogan now intends to cannibalize the Red Line to finance more road and bridge projects "in every county in the state" only adds insult to injury, underscoring the fact that most elected leaders in the Baltimore metropolitan area favored light rail [...]"

By rejecting the Red Line, Maryland will lose out on $900 million in federal funds designated to support the project. "[Hogan's] unilateral actions (held as a closely-guarded secret until Thursday's announcement) do not represent the behavior of a 'partner' or a 'friend' but of a politician beholden to rural and politically conservative suburban constituencies that care not a fig for Baltimore."

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Published on Thursday, June 25, 2015 in Baltimore Sun
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