WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), released the following statement on Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s announcement regarding how the state will fund transportation priorities:
“With the federal government as a strong financial partner, Maryland must be willing to make bold investments in our transportation infrastructure, in order to create jobs and out compete other states in the region. Governor Hogan’s announcement of weak support for the Purple Line, shifting significant cost burdens to the local governments, the private sector, and the federal government, fills me with great concern. Connecting Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties through public transit is a top priority for the region and will pay great dividends for Maryland. This has been a top priority of mine and I intend to carefully review the details of his proposal. I intend to work to ensure that the federal government upholds its commitment to this project and that the governor’s actions do not put the viability of the Purple Line in jeopardy.
“I would also urge Governor Hogan to reconsider his position on the Red Line. The Baltimore region deserves the same benefits that come with a new rail system. Governor Hogan has promised to help Baltimore become a stronger city and I can think of few better ways than delivering on the most basic of public transportation needs for people who live, work and play in our largest city. We also have warned Governor Hogan that the federal funds in the pipeline for these projects will be diverted to other states and other projects if Maryland pulls the plug. This is an opportunity that should not be wasted.
“The governor’s decision to invest $2 billion in repairing Maryland’s current highways is the right decision. A safe and efficient highway system is critically important to the continued success of our state. I do question his decision to spend $845 million on new highway projects. Building more roads in Maryland is not the answer to alleviating our traffic problems. We know that the way to stem the traffic congestion that plagues our state is a balance of public transportation, highway maintenance, smart development and essential capacity improvements. We need to make these investments.”