Maryland Leaders Should Prioritize Transportation

By Our Maryland Our Voices Contributor

Although there are many issues being talked about during Maryland’s 2018 election season, transportation remains a top priority for Ben Jealous and justifiably so. As governor of Maryland, Jealous plans to invest in the state’s transportation system. Jealous has voiced his support and plans to expand public and private transportation throughout the state to solve the urban transportation crisis. Jealous commitment to Maryland’s public transportation system, especially in urban areas, demonstrates his commitment to all Marylanders.

Jealous is no stranger to Maryland’s cities’ current public transportation system. Back in August, The Baltimore Sun published an article, which was written by Luke Broadwater, and video that documented Jealous’ experience on a Maryland Transit Administration bus in Baltimore City. During this experience, Jealous not only rode the bus for himself but also talked with locals about their experiences as regular bus riders in Baltimore City. It was this that lead Jealous to state that the Maryland Transit Administration bus system was “broken.”

For years, Governor Larry Hogan has ignored the state’s public transportation system, especially within Baltimore. Compared to other major cities on the East Coast, such as New York City and nearby Washington D.C., Baltimore’s public transportation system continues to fall short year after year. This continues to fail the city as it hinders Baltimore and the surrounding state from reaching its full potential.

It is this lacking system that makes the lives of working Marylanders harder. Residents should be able to rely on the public transportation system as they use it to run errands and get to work. However, the state’s current leadership has continued to not put the city’s residents and commuters first. This can be shown in the Hogan administration’s lack of investment to improve Baltimore’s public transportation system and options. This can also be shown in the bus route redesign, which made many riders’ commutes longer and more complicated. As documented in The Baltimore Sun’s article about Jealous’ Baltimore bus experience, many bus riders in the Baltimore area continue to find that the public transportation system makes their commutes more difficult than necessary. This is unacceptable, but Marylanders’ can help change this and show their commitment to a prosperous system and state in the upcoming November election by keeping the importance of public transportation in mind.

Maryland and its residents need a governor and leadership team that makes public transportation and the people who rely on it a priority.

The views expressed here are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of Our Maryland or Our Maryland Education Fund.