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Officials call for statewide transit system

Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition

State and local elected officials from the Baltimore and Washington metro areas are calling for a transit network that would connect their respective regions. The policy makers joined activists at a press conference Tuesday morning in front of Baltimore’s Penn Station, gearing up for a political fight that could last through the spring's General Assembly session.

The transit system the group envisions would build off MARC and the D.C. Metrorail. It would extend from Martinsburg, West Virginia to the west, to Waldorf, Maryland, to the south, all the way up Elkton, on Maryland’s Delaware line.

Those behind the proposal said it would cost $8 billion, the same price as the proposed widening of I-270 in Montgomery County.

“In the context of how expensive major highway projects are, making major progress on transit is cheaper,” said state Sen. Jim Rosapepe, a Democrat who represents Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

One of the proposed transit lines is the Red Line light rail project that Gov. Larry Hogan canceled more than a year ago. At the time, he said the east-west connection was too expensive.

The group gathered on Tuesday did not offer specific legislative proposals, saying only that those may come when the General Assembly convenes in Annapolis in January.

Rachel Baye is a senior reporter and editor in WYPR's newsroom.
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