Cummings Urges MTA to Implement New Recommendations to Improve BaltimoreLink System

July 9, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (July 9, 2018) — Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, sent a letter to Kevin B. Quinn, Jr., the Maryland Transit Administrator, urging him to implement the recommendations issued by the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance (CMTA) to improve bus service in Baltimore.

“In broad terms, it appears that the route changes implemented one year ago through the BaltimoreLink plan have made marginal improvements in a few aspects of MTA bus service.” Cummings wrote.  “However, a re-design that is truly transformative – as the Link plan was supposed to be – would meaningfully expand the mobility of Baltimore residents and produce obvious improvements across many measures.”

Last week, CMTA released a detailed report assessing the results of the bus route changes implemented over the past year as part of the BaltimoreLink plan.  According to CMTA’s report, modest improvements were seen on a few measures. However, CMTA also found that “when averaged across all residents of greater Baltimore the number of jobs one can get to in 45 minutes or less using public transportation and walking went down by 6%.”  

To help the BaltimoreLink plan make the changes it promised, CMTA offered five recommendations, including: improve transparency and open data; prioritize transit; focus on frequency; reverse MTA budget cuts; and produce an excellent Central Maryland regional transit plan.

“I urge the MTA to implement these important recommendations, including ensuring that the new Central Maryland Regional Transit Plan is truly a ‘goal-oriented, multi-modal plan through meaningful public involvement and stakeholder engagement,’” Cummings urged. “I also urge MTA to use this one-year anniversary to identify additional improvements that can be made to reduce travel times for residents and to commit the resources necessary to make truly transformational changes in MTA bus services.”

Cummings also renewed his request from February of this year seeking information about the events that led MTA to shut down the Metro subway for emergency repairs as well as information about any unaddressed safety deficiency that may exist on the Metro subway or Light Rail. He also requested copies of any assessments of bus fleet maintenance and renewal needs produced by MTA staff or consultants at any time during the last two years.

Click here to read today’s letter.