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Federal Grants To Fund Maryland Bus System Upgrades

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Buses like this diesel-electric hybrid one in Baltimore will be getting a new bus depot in East Baltimore thanks to a $40 million federal grant awarded July 23.
 
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  Buses like this diesel-electric hybrid one in Baltimore will be getting a new bus depot in East Baltimore thanks to a $40 million federal grant awarded July 23.  

Bus systems in Maryland are getting an upgrade, thanks to funding that's part of a $787 million package to repair and modernize transit infrastructure nationwide.

The Federal Transit Administration awarded Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) a $1.5 million grant for its Regional Bus Stop Improvement Program in Maryland. Maryland facilities and systems received $45 million in grants overall.

"It's going to involved more accessible sidewalks which is really critical for our seniors. It also is going to provide shelters to help folks stay out the weather," says Peter Rogoff, the Federal Transit Administrator. "And it's going to provide lighting, which for certain bus stops where there could be a crime challenge, we want to make sure people are safe."

The grant money will also be used for benches, ramps and real-time signs to let riders know when buses are coming.

Ocean City is receiving $2 million to replace worn down transit buses with fuel-efficient models. Baltimore's bus system is getting one of the largest grants, totaling $40 million, for a new bus depot.

"It is a very old facility that has promised to be replaced for years and years," Rogoff says of the Balitmore bus depot. "Unfortunately until today, the budgetary resources weren't there at the MTA in Maryland to replace it."

Maryland is also getting $1.65 million for safety and accessibility improvements to the Cherry Hill Transit Hub in South Baltimore, which connects bus and light rail service. 

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