MD Transit Systems Face Looming Shortfall

A recent financial report shows the Maryland Transit Administration facing a $2 billion funding shortfall – creating challenges across the state’s multi-modal Transportation program.

mta-maryland_11074313The Maryland Transit Administration is the unified State agency overseeing mass transit projects around the state. Directed by the General Assembly on its fiscal capacity and funding, its report shows a concerning shortfall in funds.

From coverage on Maryland Matters:

The numbers are contained in the state’s first Capital Needs Inventory, an assessment mandated by the legislature in 2018 to give lawmakers and others a clear view of how the state’s transit needs measure up against expected revenues.

Critics said the $2.058 billion gap — divided evenly between projected “state of good repair” expenses ($1.031 billion) and “enhancements” ($1.027 billion) — reflects a failure to properly invest in the state’s transit systems.

The transportation-oriented Streetsblog wrote about the problem as well, with its own assessment and a flavor of the immediate political fallout:

State Delegate Brooke Lierman told the Baltimore Sun that the report shows that Gov. Larry Hogan and Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn are “drastically under-funding investments in our public transit infrastructure.”

“Now that there is a full accounting of the need, I look forward to hearing from Secretary Rahn and Gov. [Larry] Hogan what their plan is to ensure public transit infrastructure — the buses, the transit cars that Marylanders ride on every day — are in a state of good repair and are safe,” Lierman said.

The Hogan administration pointed to $14 billion in investment the state has pumped into the MTA and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority between 2019 and 2024. State transportation officials will present the state’s six-year spending plan to state lawmakers in the fall.

 

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties
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