Yesterday, Governor O’Malley outlined a $1.5 billion, 6-year transportation plan for Baltimore that includes major investment in modern public transportation infrastructure.
Maryland PIRG thanks the Governor for a commitment today that reflects and supports the way Marylanders want to travel, investing in the 21st century public transportation infrastructure that we have long awaited.
The research is clear, the 60 year driving boom is over. Marylanders have decreased per-person driving miles by 4% since 2005. Old driving trends have run out of steam and new ones are growing. After World War II, we saw the rapid growth of the suburbs, low gas prices, and increased car ownership. Today, forty six states have seen reductions in driving as people increasingly opt for public transit and bikes to get around.
The infrastructure we build today will mainly be used and paid for by the Millennials who are leading the trend away from driving.
Moving forward, we’re eager to see that the state deliver on the today’s plan, and encourage the Governor to make the planning process happen in an open and transparent way.
Baltimoreans will benefit from the red line as well as the expanded weekend service on the MARC, and we’re happy to see the state maintaining our existing transportation systems – repairing our transit lines and railcars, buses, and roads.
This doesn’t mean that we can stop closely examining assumptions that underlie highway expansions. We need to make sure that the projects we fund are absolutely necessary given the direction our state is going.