The Red Line is a 14-mile light rail project linking western Baltimore County and eastern Baltimore City. Its 19 stations will serve Downtown Baltimore, the Social Security Administration, University of Maryland at Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center Campus, Gwynn Falls Trails, West Baltimore, Fells Point and more.
The Red Line is critical to Baltimore’s future economic competitiveness. A study by the University of Maryland found that the project’s design, planning and construction would create or support a total of 10,000 jobs in the city. Once built, the line is expected to have an average daily ridership of 54,000 by 2030. That’s an awful lot of people who will be commuting to work and paying taxes without creating pollution or clogging Baltimore’s roads.
The Red Line is projected to cost $2.5 billion to build. The State of Maryland has applied to the federal government for funding under its New Starts program. If approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Red Line will be eligible for federal money up to almost half of its cost. But to get federal money, the state must show that it has a plan to pay for its share.
Right now, the state has not budgeted any construction funds for the Red Line. Its Transportation Trust Fund is running out of money. [Link to Where’s the Money?] Unless the state can show the federal government that it can pay its share of the Red Line’s costs, the feds will fund other competing projects across the country and the Red Line will not be built. This summer is a critical deadline. If the State of Maryland misses it, there may be no Red Line.
To get more involved in making the Red Line a reality, contact our partners at Red Line Now PAC.