The Action Committee for Transit strongly endorses Governor O'Malley's transportation funding package.
The Purple Line will allow tens of thousands of commuters in Montgomery and Prince George's Counties to speed past the backed-up Beltway. The Red Line will knit together Baltimore's Metro and light rail to create the transit web that every great city depends on. Both projects will create more livable neighborhoods as they create jobs and spur economic development. The state has other transit needs too ─ more MARC trains, light rail to Charles County, the Corridor Cities Transitway, and upgrades to bus service in every county.
We have road needs too. We must fix failing bridges, maintain roadways, and reconfigure our highways so that pedestrians and bicyclists can reach their destinations quickly and safely.
Opponents of this package claim that drivers are being asked to subsidize transit. The truth is that today everybody subsidizes driving, including people who never drive. Gasoline today is exempted from the 6% sales tax -- an enormous subsidy.
And even under this bill, drivers will not even begin to pay the full costs of driving. Meanwhile, transit riders -- many of whom also drive -- will continue to pay a large share of their transportation cost at the farebox.
What's more, transit benefits everyone, including people who never take transit -- through reduced road congestion, increased economic opportunities, cleaner air and water, and less climate change for our children and grandchildren to inherit.