Policy Update: BaltimoreLINK
By Henry Bogdan, Director of Advocacy & Policy, Maryland Nonprofits
The Maryland Transit Administration (“MTA”) has released considerable information about Governor Hogan’s new transit proposal for the Baltimore Region – BaltimoreLINK – and is seeking public comment. Numerous community workshops have been held and more are scheduled in December. Comments can be submitted directly through an online survey. The comment period is schedule to close December 23.
The MTA describes this as a “ multi-phase plan [that] will create an interconnected transit system, known as BaltimoreLink, and includes redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout Baltimore and adding 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and other transit modes.”
Essentially this new plan would replace the Red Line rail transit program cancelled by the Governor earlier this year and go into operation, in phases, much sooner than the projected completion of that rail line.
Transit advocates are reviewing the new proposal, as well as the impact of the overall reduction in transit investment contained in the new draft Consolidated Transportation Program (“CTP”) produced by the Maryland Department of Transportation. Legislative analysts reported last week that compared to the prior version of the six-year CTP, the new draft for 2016-2021 reduces mass transit capital spending by over $1.3 billion, and increases highway spending by almost $1.1 billion in that period.
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