So Larry Hogan unveiled his “transformative” new transit plan for Baltimore. Here’s the dance steps:
1. Call the Red Line a “boondoggle,” then kill it.
2. Spend the $2 billion previously allocated to the Red Line on highway projects all over the state (but not even a dollar in the City).
3. Have your transportation secretary stand up and without apparent irony declaim that “transit in Baltimore is broken.”
4. Announce a 12 line MTA bus plan that will cost $135 million (wait, I thought there wasn’t any money left?).
Even better, says the Sun: most of the suburban locations that will be served by the new bus routes were also places that would have been part of the Red Line.
Among the suburban locations to receive what were described as enhanced bus connections are some of those that would have been served by the Red Line — Security Square, Woodlawn and Bayview. Other sites include White Marsh, Essex, Halethorpe and Catonsville.
While the governor touted the plan as a major investment in Baltimore transit, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a staunch supporter of the scuttled Red Line, declined an invitation to appear at the announcement.
Several Baltimore elected officials did show up for the announcement, including City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young and three candidates for mayor.
Red Line: $2.9 billion. CityLink: $135 million. Unclear from media reports if this will be a solely state funded program (ha ha, I’m sure the answer is “of course not”), but a surface only BRT plan has previously been evaluated to be vastly inferior to the LRT Red Line plan in terms of travel times snd ridership estimates.
Larry Hogan has a new slogan: “bringing you shitty transit alternatives to previously existing plans since 2015.” Way to go there, big guy.