New group pushing for Maryland transportation funding

The Intercounty Connector in Maryland. (Mark Gail — The Washington Post)

Transit advocates from the Washington and Baltimore regions have formed a new group to push for additional state transportation funding, including money to build a light rail Purple Line between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The group, called Get Maryland Moving, is asking the Maryland General Assembly and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to make new revenue for transportation projects a top priority for this legislative session. The group includes Purple Line Now, the Red Line Now PAC in Baltimore, the Maryland League of Women Voters, state environmental groups, and the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of commerce.

A 16-mile Purple Line would connect Bethesda and New Carrollton, with 21 stations in between. A 14-mile light rail Red Line would connect western Baltimore County with eastern parts of the city.

Maryland transportation officials recently revealed that they would cut off state funding for more detailed design of both transit projects after June 30, unless the General Assembly passes some kind of tax increase to fund new road and transit construction. Transit advocates say they worry the projects could stall for years and jeopardize the state’s quest for highly competitive federal transit construction aid.

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