The Mid-Atlantic Justice Coalition submitted this letter to Governor Moore urging him to support one of our priorities, which was vetoed by Governor Hogan last year: the Transportation Equity Act! Send a message to your Delegates & Senator to support the bill here!
The Honorable Wes Moore
Governor of Maryland
Maryland State House
100 State Circle
Annapolis, MD 21401-1925
January 17, 2023
Greetings Governor-Elect Moore and Lt. Governor-Elect Miller.
First, congratulations on your historic win and your clear message that you will work to make Maryland better for everyone.
The Mid-Atlantic Justice Coalition (MAJC) works to address issues of environmental and transit justice in Maryland, Delaware, Virginia. We ask for your support of the Transportation Equity Act (HB9/SB16) in the 2023 legislative session.
Our coalition recognizes that Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act guaranteeing equal access and equity in transportation is not systematically enforced in Maryland. So, the Transportation Equity Act requires MDOT and MTA to conduct a transit equity analysis and cost benefit analyses, and consult with impacted communities, before implementing any reduction in services or cancellation of capital expansion projects.
Unbelievably, the Transportation Equity Act which passed the General Assembly handily last session was vetoed by Governor Hogan. Delegate Ruth and Senator Carter have re-introduced the bill, in the form in which it passed as HB9/SB19. We ask for your support of this important policy change in 2023.
The bill will provide many critical benefits to Maryland, especially to communities that have been left out of transportation decisions. The Transportation Equity Act will halt racially inequitable transportation planning. This will provide profound benefits to so many communities including reducing transportation pollution and linking more communities to jobs and opportunities.
For too long we have seen core bus service, with its 83% black ridership, sliced when other modes serving wealthier and whiter riders are cut far less. Minority communities already have fewer services resulting in long and more complicated commutes. Further cuts in these communities will be devastating. This must change for Maryland to thrive.
If the state had applied these criteria over the past decade, Maryland would not have experienced the cancellation of the Baltimore Red Line in 2015, the deterioration and ultimate temporary closure of the Baltimore Metro in 2018, nor the MTA’s proposal of permanent service cuts in 2020.
As we rebuild Maryland to be successful for everyone, we must begin with better and far more equitable transportation planning and funding. This legislative proposal is very much in line with your goals for the state and will help to ensure that this critical agency does its part to right past wrongs. Your active support for the Transportation Equity Act will establish your leadership in environmental and economic justice as Maryland’s Title VI Governor.
Thank you and we look forward to continuing this conversation.
President, Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition
Maryland Steering Committee Member, Mid-Atlantic Justice Coalition