Smith: City Leaders Need A Red Line Plan "B"

Jul 2, 2015

  Governor Larry Hogan’s decision to leave $900 million federal dollars on the table is, sadly enough, irreversible. There’s no readily apparent way to revive the Red Line.

Legislative leaders don’t see one.

"The legislature has a role to play in this and we need to figure out what that role is," said Del. Maggie McIntosh, who worked to get the Red Line up to the finish line.

The state of Maryland has spent $288 million on planning, all for nothing.

Mr. Hogan wants to use the money, raised via higher tolls, for bridge repair and more highways He’s not a greenie, not a visionary, not a mass transit guy.

Marylanders elected him, he feels, to get a grip on spending. He’s done that here—at the expense of workers needing reliable transportation.

Business leaders in the city bemoaned the loss, also to no avail.

Nor was the governor satisfied with that. He called the program a “boondoggle,” suggesting it had no real value, even corrupt.

Workers who need a more reliable way to work would certainly argue with him. So would business leaders and others who say Baltimore suffers business-wise from its poor transportation system.

Delegate McIntosh is right about one thing. A dialogue is needed with the Hogan administration on the subject of buses.

What can be done to make the system reliable? What can be done now? Why didn’t the governor offer improvements while he was killing the Red Line? Workers who depend on buses need a reliable system.

Light rail would have moved the city closer to such a system.