The Transportation Equity Act, sponsored by Delegate Sheila Ruth and Senator Jill Carter, is a critical tool for building a transportation system in Maryland that allows everyone to thrive. Write a message to your representatives to support the Transportation Equity Act!
Public transit and smart transportation planning are some of the most important tools that local and state governments have to fight climate change and reduce structural inequalities. Transportation decisions should improve local air quality rather than drive greenhouse gas emissions and reduce economic inequality instead of excluding working-class communities from the opportunities we need to thrive.
Historically, Maryland transportation decisions have worsened inequality instead of reducing it. Governor Larry Hogan's decision to cancel the Red Line in 2015, just weeks after the Baltimore Uprising, threw away years of community labor for the project in favor of suburban highway funding; and when the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition (BTEC) challenged that decision in court under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act on the basis of its discriminatory impact, the Trump administration refused to consider the case. We need to pass the Transportation Equity Act of 2022 to make sure that doesn't happen again.
How? The Transportation Equity Act (HB141/SB23) would effectively enforce Title VI of the Civil Rights Act in transportation planning in Maryland. Whenever the state is planning any major service change for public transit, the Maryland Department of Transportation would have to conduct transit equity analyses, cost benefit analyses, and outreach to affected communities before public hearings. Ensuring equity would become a primary goal of the Maryland Transportation Plan. Instead of inequitable decisions being made and then communities having to challenge them in court, this would bake equity in from the very beginning.