Cummings offers no solutions for transit
In his recent commentary, Rep. Elijah Cummings uses past transit failures as weapons instead of lessons. He criticizes Gov. Larry Hogan’s $135 million Maryland Transit Administration bus system reform because it “is less than half the money spent just planning the Red Line,” as if throwing money at transit problems is a virtue (“Missing links in BaltimoreLink bus plan,” Sept. 30).
Red Line planning went on for 15 years — including Gov. Martin O’Malley’s eight-year failure to find feasible funding and advance to construction. The $3 billion-plus light rail project would have actually resulted in slower and less connected service than comparable current buses.
Mr. Cummings also cites Bus Network Improvement Project or BNIP, the failed predecessor to Governor Hogan’s bus plan which Governor O’Malley kept secret, delayed and then withdrew. He also cites the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance’s critique of Mr. Hogan’s plan, a basic problem of which is its use of “transportation zones” to measure service rather than bus routes themselves, thus avoiding specific recommendations. But zones don’t ride transit, people do.
The congressman even decries the 1970s construction of the divisive and desolate “Road to Nowhere” through West Baltimore, which the Red Line plans stubbornly refused to get rid of. So why not fix the Franklin-Mulberry highway corridor? Like the Red Line and bus system plans, Mr. Cummings would rather use it as ammunition than propose constructive, feasible solutions.