Maryland's six-year transportation budget sees reduction due to COVID-19

State is forecasting a total $2.9 billion impact on the Transportation Trust Fund

September 02, 2020 / 3 minute read
transportation budget

The Maryland DOT (MDOT) this week released a draft of its Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) for fiscal years 2021 through 2026.

The CTP details MDOT’s $13.4 billion six-year capital budget and shows a $2.9 billion reduction compared to the $16.3 billion final FY 2020 – FY 2025 CTP released in January. According to MDOT, this $2.9 billion reduction reflects capital budget reductions of $1.9 billion necessitated by revenue declines associated with the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis as well as project cash flow changes and completions following record-setting investments in transportation over the last several years. MDOT also is reducing its FY 2021 operating budget by $98 million to respond to the revenue decline.

“Despite the challenges of operating during a pandemic health crisis, more than 10,000 MDOT employees and our private sector partners continued to deliver outstanding customer service in every business unit across the department," MDOT Secretary Gregory Slater said in a statement. "As the state’s economy and transportation network begins to recover, this budget focuses on preserving our critical infrastructure and essential connections, continuing all active construction, planning for future projects, and building what we can to further support Maryland’s economic recovery.”

During the peak of the stay-at-home order, transportation volumes were down across the network in the second week of April compared to the same week a year ago: highway traffic volumes were down 52%, toll transactions were down 57%, all MTA transit was down 70%.

Over the six-year forecast period, MDOT is forecasting a total six-year revenue decline of $1.4 billion and a decrease in bond sales of $1.5 billion for a total $2.9 billion impact on the Transportation Trust Fund. The impact of COVID-19 has hit every single revenue source to the Transportation Trust Fund and most revenues are not expected to return to their pre-COVID 2019 levels until fiscal 2023 or beyond.

Motor fuel tax, which is MDOT’s largest revenue source, took the biggest hit and is revised downward more than $600 million (reduction in both gallons sold and lower prices).

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SOURCE: Maryland DOT

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