Maryland Lawmakers Mull Alternative Transportation Funding Sources | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Lawmakers Mull Alternative Transportation Funding Sources

Play associated audio

The Maryland General Assembly will grapple with how to fund upcoming mass transit projects during this year's session.  

A statewide gas or sales tax hike to pay for projects like Metro's Purple Line would likely face an uphill battle in Annapolis, Md. Some legislative leaders are instead proposing to raise taxes in Maryland counties with large mass transit systems.

But many local lawmakers aren't keen on that idea.  

Montgomery County, Md., officials explored alternative sources of funding new projects during a county council briefing Thursday.

Tax hikes for transit may seem unpopular at first, but plans to do so have appeared on nationwide ballots 473 times this century, said Art Guzzetti, vice president for policy at the American Public Transportation Association.

Guzzetti said voters approved the tax increase more than 72 percent of the time over a 13-year period.

"What could be more reflective of public views than that?" asked Guzzetti.

Guzzetti said some regions have been creative, using a private developer in Denton County, Texas, as an example.

"They paid $2.5 billion for the right to build a toll road. The region all of a sudden has $2.5 billion to work with. And they used part of that money to fund a commuter train," Guzzetti said.

Montgomery County lawmakers need money not just for the Purple Line, but also for the Corridor Cities Transitway and a countywide bus rapid transit system.

NPR

Not My Job: Drummer Marky Ramone Gets Quizzed On Marky Mark

Marky Ramone, who has just written a memoir called Punk Rock Blitzkrieg, will see if he can correctly answer three questions about Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch.
NPR

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Wonky produce can take on absurdly entertaining shapes. But one food activist says learning to love these crazy contours is key to stopping mounds of food waste.
NPR

Funding Homeland Security: Where Do We Go From Here?

President Obama late Friday signed a stopgap measure to keep the department running for another week, but the tussle over his executive action on immigration, linked to the funding, is not over yet.
NPR

A Neuroscientist Weighs In: Why Do We Disagree On The Color Of The Dress?

Robert Siegel speaks with Dr. Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, about the dress that has the whole Internet asking: What color is it?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.