Tag: Maryland Transit Administration

State Roundup, January 23, 2020

Former Del. Glenn pleads guilty to taking bribes as names of business ‘associates’ remain sealed; bills seek to put legalizing sports betting to referendum; bipartisan group of lawmakers push for more business-friendly state before Maryland Chamber; Senate President Ferguson touts digital ad tax; lawmakers urge special elections to fill vacancies in General Assembly; bill would make it a crime to cause severe emotional distress to a disabled adult under one’s care; new Transit Caucus pushes for Washington County commuter train service, among other ideas; Sheriff Jenkins can enter into immigration enforcement agreement, but Frederick County doesn’t have to fund it; and who are the Republicans running for Elijah Cummings’ congressional seat?

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Analyzing the proposed BaltimoreLink transit plan and its effect on area transit

Overall, as transit projects go, BaltimoreLink is a fairly sound plan. But questions remain. Most importantly, it’s entirely unclear where the $135 million to implement this plan is coming from. It was not appropriated by the legislature during the past year’s budget negotiation. Despite this uncertainty, the plan’s bus-centric nature is far sounder than the Red Line’s costly rail-based model. Nick Zaiac of the Maryland Public Policy Institute reviews and analyzes each component of the program. For comparison, he also takes a look at some programs that have worked in other cities and states.

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State publishes new rules for campaigning at transit stations

The state is proposing to relax its rules on political activity at transit stations, a move designed to help settle a three-year legal battle with the American Civil Liberties Union and ACORN that stemmed from the 2006 campaign.

The regulatory change, published for public comment on a state website, eliminates the requirement that groups get permits for “free speech activity” at Maryland Transit Administration facilities. The regulations apply to things like political organizing and demonstrations.

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ACORN, ACLU will continue to sue Md. as panel rejects settlement

The state is refusing to accept a $60,000 agreement that the Office of the Attorney General reached with the American Civil Liberties Union and ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

The Board of Public Works Wednesday rejected the settlement that would have resolved a long-standing dispute over an Ehrlich-administration Maryland Transit Administration prohibition on political activity at public transportation properties.

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Senators want more study of Red, Purple lines

Senators are asking the Maryland Transit Administration to go back and look at different options for its three proposed transit lines, two of which are in the early stages of a lengthy quest for federal aid.

When it signed off on Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget proposal last week, the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee called for the MTA to re-examine reccmmendations to use “light rail” alignments on the proposed Red Line in Baltimore and the Purple Line in the Washington Suburbs.

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Emergency state mobility contract overdue for review

A new, $4.6 million paratransit contract between the Maryland Transit Administration and a vendor has not yet made it before the Board of Public Works that oversees such transactions, though nearly twice the allowed amount of time has passed since the emergency contract went into effect.

On Sept. 21, the MTA gave the two-year contract to Transcare Maryland Inc., which will serve as the state’s third provider of mobility service. The agency had declared an emergency four days earlier, said spokeswoman Cheron Wicker, in anticipation of a possible a strike by workers at one of the state’s other paratransit contractors, California-based MV Transportation Inc.

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