Governor Will Have to Answer for Cancelling the Baltimore Red Line on Election Day
Annapolis, MD — After the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance released a report that found that Larry Hogan’s BaltimoreLink bus plan “falls well short” of its goal of providing reliable rapid transit to connect Baltimore residents to jobs, the Hogan campaign dismissed the Baltimore Red Line as a “pet project.” Hogan might think of the Red Line as a “pet project,” but the countless Baltimore residents who fought for the project called it a “jobs line,” because it would create nearly 10,000 new jobs during construction. According to a 2015 report, the Red Line will cut commute times in half, save Baltimore families $1,000 a month in transportation costs, and support more than 7,500 businesses along its route.
In May, a panel of economic development experts blamed Governor Hogan’s inexplicable 2015 decision to “kill” the Red Line for preventing economic development in Baltimore.
Baltimore Corps president and CEO Fagan Harris reminded the audience that the Red Line project “…didn’t die. It was killed.”
Parks & People Foundation president and CEO Lisa Schroeder said that Hogan’s decision makes her “want to howl at the moon” and she is “still in shock.”
Seawall Development co-founder Thibault Manekin noted that developers support public transportation, because “it’s going to make development easier because it really challenges developers to build parking garages.”
“Larry Hogan doesn’t know what it’s like to not be able to get to work because you don’t have access to transportation, so it’s easy to see why he would dismiss cutting off thousands of Baltimore families’ access to jobs,” said Maryland Democratic Party spokesperson Fabion Seaton. “While Hogan is dismissing the struggles of working Baltimore families, Ben Jealous is committed to building the Red Line and building an economy that works for all Maryland families.”
In June 2015, Governor Larry Hogan threw nearly a decade of effort and nearly $1 billion federal dollars down the drain when he cancelled the Red Line project, which would have connected the east and west sides of Baltimore, providing much-needed access to public transportation to areas of Baltimore where the median income is just over $31,000 and where 39 percent of households lack access to an automobile.
Hogan’s transportation failures in Baltimore came to a head in February when Baltimore residents’ lives were disrupted when the Hogan-led Maryland Transportation Administration shut down the Baltimore Metro for “emergency repairs” for an entire month; the administration gave riders less than a day’s notice.
Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1300 President David McClure said at the time that “it’s like Baltimore doesn’t exist to this administration.”