A new coalition is advocating for dollars for state transportation projects, including the planned 16-mile Purple Line light rail that would connect Bethesda with New Carrollton, The Washington Post reports.
Get Maryland Moving, a coalition of groups, including the Montgomery County and Bethesda-Chevy Chase chambers of commerce, Purple Line Now, Action Committee for Transit, and the League of Women Voters of Maryland, is pushing for state legislators to make new revenue for transportation projects a top priority this legislative session, according to the group’s website.
Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Dist. 27) of Chesapeake Beach has proposed a 3-cent gas tax that would raise about $300 million for transportation projects, Patch reported.
But without a tax increase to fund the Purple Line, the project—along with Baltimore’s Red Line and the Corridor Cities Transitway through the Interstate 270 corridor—could be put on hold, Maryland transportation officials have said. Montgomery County officials and transportation advocates have argued that deferring the funds in the state's transportation funding plan could stall the projects and make them less competitive for federal dollars.
Get Maryland Moving is encouraging Maryland residents to contact their legislators and sign a petition supporting transportation funding. The petition reads:
“No funding solution this year means that critical capital projects such as the Purple Line, Red Line, and MARC upgrades may be delayed for years or decades. We call on our leaders to take a different path: to invest in our future by securing funding for critical transit projects, road maintenance, and other investments to support smart, sustainable growth for Maryland.”