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This week, both the Senate and the House hold their hearings on the Transportation Equity Act. Take a moment to read our testimony below, and send an email to your legislators here!

Testimony Supporting SB19/HB9

Senate Finance / House Environment and Transportation Committees

February 1 / February 2, 2023

 Position: SUPPORT

Dear Chair and Members of the Committee,

The undersigned 42 organizations urge a favorable report on SB0019/HB0009, the Transportation Equity Act sponsored by Senator Jill Carter and Delegate Sheila Ruth. This legislature passed both the House and the Senate with flying colors in 2022, but was unfortunately vetoed by then-Governor Hogan. With your reiterated support in 2023, this legislation can set the Moore administration up for success in transportation planning and spending, establishing tools the administration can use to make data-driven decisions for equitable transportation in Maryland.

Maryland has a shamefully long history of racist transportation policies, from highways built through and dividing Black communities to the cancellation of the Red Line route, which would have provided urgently-needed access to jobs for residents in low-income, redlined communities in Baltimore and regional economy-transforming, transit-oriented-development (TOD). Equitable transportation will play a key role in dismantling systemic racism by:

  • Increasing access to good jobs, schools, education, and food;
  • Providing incentives for community economic development;
  • Reducing smog, air pollution, and heat islands, which disproportionately impact Black communities.

Only by being intentional about equity in the transportation sector can we begin to dismantle centuries of systemic racism.

Because many people with disabilities and many low-income households do not have access to cars, lack of access to other modes of transportation disproportionately harms them. Without access to transportation, people with disabilities continue to be alienated from the economic mainstream. People with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty in part due to difficulty accessing jobs, education and medical care. Because many individuals with disabilities have increased health care needs, isolation can have a profound impact on quality of life, health, and safety. The Transportation Equity Act requires data collection and analysis of the impact of transportation on people with disabilities, helping Maryland to build a more accessible and equitable future.

The Transportation Equity Act:

  • Makes equity a primary goal in the Maryland Transportation Plan;
  • Requires MDOT to annually report data on racial disparities and impact on persons with disabilities;
  • Adds representatives from the Maryland State Conference NAACP and a transportation labor organization to the Attainment Advisory Committee;
  • Requires transit equity analyses, cost benefit analysis, and outreach to affected communities before public hearings on any major service change;
  • Increases transparency with annual reporting and service change analysis reporting

Equity should not be an afterthought or a box to check. Real people’s lives are impacted by transportation. All Marylanders, regardless of race, income, zip code, or disability, should have an equal right to the benefits of a well-planned transportation system. We urge you to support SB19/HB9 to make this vision a reality.


Mid-Atlantic Justice Coalition

Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition, Samuel Jordan, President

Clean Water Action, Emily Ranson, Maryland Director

Advance Maryland, Alice Wilkerson, Executive Director

Sentinels Of Eastern Shore Health, Maria Payan, Co-Director

Community Development Network of Maryland, Claudia Wilson Randall, Executive Director

Blue Water Baltimore, Taylor Smith-Hams, Advocacy & Outreach Senior Manager

Consumers for Accessible Ride Transportation, Floyd Hartley, Chairperson

Maryland Campaign for Environmental Human Rights, Nina Beth Cardin, Director

Locust Point Community Garden, Dave Arndt, Director

Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Timothy Judson, Executive Director

Environmental Justice Ministry Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, Nanci Wilkinson, EJM Co leader

The Nature Conservancy Maryland/DC, Michelle Dietz, Director of Government Relations

Maryland Legislative Coalition, Cecilia Plante, Co-Chair

Glen Echo Heights Mobilization, Doris Yen H. Nguyen, Founder

Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Kristen Harbeson, Political Director

Greenbelt Climate Action Network, Kathy Bartolomeo, Volunteer

Lower Shore Progressive Caucus, Jared Schablein, Chair

Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Maryland, Phil Webster, Lead Advocate, Climate Change

Labor Network for Sustainability, Bakari Height, Transit Equity Organizer

National Aquarium, Ryan Fredriksson, VP, Government Affairs

Maryland Conservation Council, Paulette Hammond, President

Indivisible Central Maryland, Liz Enagonio, Lead Advocate

Beaverdam Creek Watershed Watch Group, Tom Taylor, Co-Chair

HoCo Indivisible, Virginia Smith, Member, Climate Action Team

Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition, Antoine M. Thompson, Executive Director

Central Maryland Transportation Alliance, Eric Norton, Dir. of Policy & Programs

CASA, Jose Coronado Flores, Research and Policy Analyst

Maryland Latinos Unidos, Carlos Orbe, Jr., Public Affairs Specialist

Lyndhurst Community Association, Cynthia Shaw, President

Parent Advocacy Consortium, Rich Ceruolo, Director Public Policy

Echotopia LLC, Diane Wittner, Principal

1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, Ricarra Jones, Political Director

Centro de Apoyo Familiar, Walkiria Pool, President and Founder

NAACP Maryland State Conference, Staci Hartwell, Chair, Environmental and Climate Justice Committee

No Boundaries Coalition, Ashiah Parker, Executive Director

Disability Rights Maryland, Gabriel Rubinstein, Assistant Managing Attorney

Climate Parents of Prince George's, Joseph Jakuta, Lead Volunteer

HoCo Climate Action, Liz Feighner, Steering Committee

Showing Up for Racial Justice Baltimore, Lindsay Keipper, Member, SURJ Baltimore Coordinating Committee

Baltimore City Green Party, Andy Ellis, Steering Committee member

Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Julieta Rodrigo, Urban and Community Resilience Manager