TOWSON, MD—Top officials from Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County joined together to issue the following statement on major cuts to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) announced on Wednesday:
“In a press release this afternoon, Governor Hogan’s administration announced significant cuts to the Maryland Transit Administration. This is a disappointing blow to the entire Baltimore metropolitan region and the many students, essential workers and families who rely on public transportation each day.
“Making cuts to an already underfunded system means students will struggle to get to and from school, even as the Governor advocates for a return to in-person learning as soon as possible. It means the essential workers, from cleaning staff to doctors and nurses, may not be able to reliably get to hospitals and medical facilities for their vital work during a public health emergency. It means more strain on our transit workers, who have been on the frontlines contending with COVID-19 in order to keep our region moving through these uncertain times.
“We understand the deep ways COVID-19 has already and will continue to impact our local economies, we need to ensure that these cuts don’t disproportionately impact the most vulnerable members of our regional population. Making operational and capital budget cuts with no guarantee service will ever be restored is a significant concern. When workers at major regional employers rely on MTA to get to and from work, these cuts to service will further harm our local economies and businesses.
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“As leaders within the region, we will be evaluating these proposed reductions and service changes carefully over the coming days and weeks and will be prepared to offer detailed comments to the MTA in early October. We need more information from MDOT and regional employers to help determine the full impact of these cuts to service on our local economies and businesses. We call on all residents in the region to join their elected leaders in voicing opposition to these cuts during MTA’s public comment period.
“Make no mistake about it—this decision will disproportionately impact our poor, Black and Brown residents, especially those living in historically-disinvested neighborhoods. Particularly during a public health emergency that continues to have devastating impacts, we should not seek to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.”
“Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski
Baltimore City Council President Brandon M. Scott
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young
Howard County Executive Calvin Ball III
Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, Jr.”