Moore Transportation Budget Slashes Transit,
Spares Highway Builders
Press release, December 6, 2023

Yesterday's budget announcement by the Moore administration betrays the governor's campaign promises of a fairer, cleaner and more efficient transportation policy, Maryland transit advocates said.

"This budget perpetuates the failed priorities of the past," said Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition chair Ben Ross. "Instead of the turn toward transit that we were promised, this plan would slash transit service next year while continuing to break ground on highway expansion projects."

Under the plan, all highway construction projects that begin the procurement process by December 31, 2023 would still go forward. Given the long lead times required for major construction procurements, new highway projects would keep breaking ground well into next fiscal year. And the money spigot would stay open even for the projects listed as getting cut -- the cuts affect only construction, which is years away, not planning.

"If the administration really wants to cut next year's highway-building budget, it needs to put an immediate freeze on contract signings and Notices to Proceed," Ross said.

The FY25 budget funds only $150 million out of Maryland's $289 million share of the Washington Metro's budget gap. And MTA commuter bus service is completely eliminated.

The plan isn't fair to drivers either. It makes no sense to launch new highway expansions while leaving potholes unfilled on the highways we already have.

"How can anyone justify building $50 toll lanes in Potomac while cutting transit lines that low-income riders rely on and refusing to commit to the Red Line light rail that would jump-start the Baltimore economy?" asked Samuel Jordan, president of the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition. "What happened to the 'focus on transit equity'?"

Shoshanna Staffone of Frederick County's Trains Not Tolls blasted the decision to drop a plan for more MARC trains between DC and Frederick. "For years, we've been told we can't get more trains because CSX won't let us run them on their tracks," she said. "Now the state has a deal with CSX in hand. How on earth can we walk away from it?"

"Just this past Saturday, MDOT came to Rockville and touted commuter buses as an essential part of their I-270 toll lane scheme," pointed out Janet Gallant of "In cutting those same buses now, they're proving that public transit was simply an unfunded distraction. What’s left is Governor Moore pushing Larry Hogan’s toll lanes on an unwilling public."

"The strategy of widening roadways has clearly not prevented traffic jams," added Amy Frieder, president of Montgomery County's Action Committee for Transit. "It's long past time to stop spending so much money on highway expansion at the expense of transit."


You can help us spread this message to a wider audience with a contribution to the Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition.