We have an update on one of the year’s biggest stories on the Network. Remember when Maryland Governor Larry Hogan killed the long-planned Baltimore Red Line so he could spend the funds on road projects? Washington says that decision is about to cost the state $100 million in federal funds.
Progressive Railroading reports that U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski asked Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx whether a federal allocation for the Red Line could be used for other transit projects along the planned light rail route. She announced news of Foxx’s reply last week:
Responding to her inquiry, Foxx said that the $100 million in federal funding for constructing the Red Line light-rail route could not be used for another project, meaning the state stands to lose the funds entirely.
In his letter to Mikulski, Foxx went on to say that the U.S. Department of Transportation shared her concern “regarding the effect of Gov. Hogan’s decision to cancel and abandon the Red Line project, forfeiting the federal government’s commitment for the development and construction of the project.”
However, Foxx also noted that the Federal Transit Administration has not yet received an official confirmation from Hogan’s administration regarding the Red Line’s cancellation, which means the project remains in the agency’s capital investment grant pipeline.
So unless Hogan reverses himself, his transportation legacy will be forfeiting a $100 million federal transit investment in his state’s largest city for a $204 million road project to speed trips to the beach.
More on the Network: People for Bikes on transit agency-funded bike lanes in Portland, Better! Cities & Towns has a primer on form-based zoning, and Greater Greater Washington says the DC transit system has a dangerous leadership vacuum.