TRANSIT FUNDING: Md. governor shoots $135 million toward Baltimore’s bus system development

Baltimore mayor says the plan doesn’t go far enough

October 23, 2015

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan this week announced a $135 million plan to redesign the city of Baltimore's local and express bus systems, an initiative he labeled as being "transformative" and cost-effective to better connect residents to jobs.

City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, however, having been stung by the governor's rejection of a $2.9 billion light rail project this past June, said the governor's plan falls far short.

Hogan said his plan will add 12 high-frequency bus routes to improve connections to jobs and other forms of public transit. Parts of the overall plan will be implemented in days, with the entire redesign expected by June 2017. The plan will give an estimated 205,000 more people access to high-frequency transit, Hogan said.

"This new investment will provide a more reliable and more timely transit experience, better connections to jobs, and make commutes safer, cleaner and more customer friendly," said Hogan at a news conference at the West Baltimore MARC train station.

A conference at which Mayor Rawlings-Blake was absent. In a statement released by the mayor’s office, Rawlings-Blake stated, "Governor Hogan's plan falls far short of revolutionizing transportation across our critical East-West corridor, as would have happened with the Red Line. Baltimore is woefully behind other cities in public transit, and this plan does little to advance it. At best, this bus plan may help the state fulfill its basic obligations under Maryland law."

Rawlings-Blake went on to state that she still did not have an answer to what happened to the $736 million in state transportation funding that she says Hogan took away from the region and redistributed to highway projects across the state.