3/6/13: RELEASE: Transit Advocates Make Their Voices Heard in Annapolis Today
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 6, 2013
Get Maryland Moving signatory groups to date include: 1000 Friends of Maryland • Action Committee for Transit • Baltimore City Young Democrats • Bike Maryland • Bikemore • Central Maryland Transportation Alliance • Chevy Chase Land Company • Coalition for Smarter Growth • Corridor Cities Transitway Coalition • Edmondson Village Community Association • Evergreen Protective Association • Friends of Frederick County • Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce • Greater Baltimore Group of the Sierra Club • The Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce • Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce • Greektown Community Development Corporation • Highlandtown Community Association • Indian Springs Citizen Association • League of Women Voters Baltimore • League of Women Voters of Maryland • Maryland League of Conservation Voters • Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce • Montgomery Countryside Alliance • Montgomery County Sierra Club • Montgomery County Young Democrats • Patterson Park Neighborhood Association (PPNA) • Purple Line Now • Purple Rail Alliance • Red Line Now PAC • Sierra Club Catoctin Group • Southeast Community Development Corporation • Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) • More at www.getmarylandmoving.org.
Contacts and available spokespeople:
- Kelly Blynn, Coalition for Smarter Growth, (610) 220-5378
- Robbyn Lewis, Founder, Red Line Now PAC, (443) 604-2984
- Nancy Soreng, President, League of Women Voters of Maryland and Purple Line Now board member, (301) 986-1916
- Dru Schmidt-Perkins, 1000 Friends of Maryland, (410) 258-8601
Newly unified groups from Baltimore to Washington brave the storm and demonstrate their commitment to the cause as they converge for a lobby day to call on Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly to make transportation funding a top priority this session
Representatives from Get Maryland Moving traveled to Annapolis today to convey to legislators and Governor O’Malley their support for a statewide solution to raise transportation revenues that prioritize investments in transit and existing infrastructure. Grassroots groups from around Maryland have united as Get Maryland Moving, a new coalition calling on legislators to take action now to create a statewide solution that will raise transportation revenues and invest in smart transportation priorities, namely critical transit projects and fix-it-first road maintenance. In just a few weeks, the new coalition has generated over 1,000 petition signatures, 500 direct emails to legislators, over 30 diverse coalition members, and has garnered coverage in the Washington Post, Examiner, and Gazette.
Said Stewart Schwartz of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, one of the groups convening the coalition, “Without urgent action on transportation funding, Maryland will continue to be stuck in traffic. Critical transit projects like the Washington area’s Purple Line, Baltimore’s Red Line, MARC modernization and expansion, and Metro rehabilitation could miss out on federal funding and be delayed for years.”
Said Nancy Soreng of the League of Women Voters of Maryland, “Transportation funding is an investment we need to make for the entire state. There are transit systems and local road and maintenance projects that need funding in every county. Transit is the fastest growing travel mode in Maryland, with transit ridership statewide increasing 34% since 1996.”
Leaders of the new coalition “Get Maryland Moving” met with some 20 legislators Wednesday morning before convening on the steps of the State House to greet legislators with gravestones representing the impending death of several critical transportation projects that could fall by the wayside without action this session, including the Washington area’s Purple Line, Baltimore’s Red Line, Montgomery County’s Corridor Cities Transitway, MARC modernization and expansion, and Metro rehabilitation.
“If legislators don’t find the political will this year, we will miss out in the race for federal funds and lose the Purple Line, as well as other much-needed transit projects,” said Ralph Bennett, President of Purple Line Now, a coalition of business and citizens in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. The Purple Line is projected to carry 79,000 passengers per day by 2040, linking Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and four branches of the Metro system, providing better access to jobs and creating an alternative to sitting in traffic.
“We’ve seen our neighbors to the south find the political will. We’re here to help our legislators find the courage to do the same, and invest in the transit and maintenance solutions that will benefit all Marylanders,” said Robbyn Lewis, founder of Red Line Now PAC in Baltimore. The Red Line, a 14 mile light rail line connecting western Baltimore County with eastern Baltimore City is projected to carry over 30,000 passengers per day by 2030 and will stimulate over 10,000 new jobs in an area greatly in need of economic investment.
“In spite of the weather, we couldn’t have chosen a better time to come to Annapolis. We’re thrilled to finally see unified action and leadership from Governor O’Malley, Speaker Busch, and President Miller, and will do all we can as residents to organize for a statewide solution that invests in real transportation solutions for all Marylanders”, said Lewis.