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Light Rail And MARC Train Under Ehrlich

Light Rail And MARC Train Under Ehrlich

Michael Dresser, from the Baltimore Sun, has done some great sleuthing this week. First, we learned about about Robert Ehrlich’s intentions to scrap the Red and Purple Line if elected.  Dresser reported that, in a small business round table discussion in Montgomery County, Ehrlich explained that he planned to forgo planned light rail projects and instead spend money on the MARC commuter rail system.

Then, according to a post by Dresser today, “that got me to wondering about the relative levels of spending on MARC during the first Ehrlich term and the O’Malley years.”  -And what he discovered is indeed interesting.  In Ehrlich’s four years as Governor of Maryland he spent roughly half of what O’Malley will have spent on the MARC commuter rail system during his term in office.  For the post, CLICK HERE.

On a related note, Dresser also reported today that ridership on the MARC has set a new record.  “The Maryland Transit Administration says the commuter rail line recorded a new high in daily ridership in April with an average of 34,617 boardings a day — up 4.2 percent from the same month last year.”

The positive ridership report has many asking, -Isn’t it time to reinstate weekend communter rail service to the MARC train? -And who can really be relied upon to keep up the success of our commuter systems?

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Ehrlich Wants To Scrap Red And Purple Line

Ehrlich To Scrap Red And Purple Line If Elected

According to an article in the Baltimore Sun today, Robert L. Ehrlich, former Maryland Governor and challenger to incumbent Governor Martin O’Malley, announced his intentions to scrap proposed light rail projects during a small business round table discussion in Montgomery County.

From the Baltimore Sun (excerpts):

Ehrlich told the group he would go back to his plan for high-speed buses on the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and be “open to ideas” about Baltimore’s Red Line. He said he would prefer to spend the money on the MARC commuter rail system and the Washington Metro — not on these new light rail lines.

The state has applied to the federal government for funding of the two transit lines  as light rail projects. If approved, the federal share of the cost would likely be 50 percent — leaving Maryland to raise  the other half. The O’Malley administration has put off any decision on funding until its hears from the Federal Transit Administration on whether it will approve either project.

For the full article, CLICK HERE.