Speaking at the West Baltimore MARC train station, Gov. Wes Moore on June 15, 2023 announces the revival of plans for the Red Line transit project in Baltimore. Screenshot via Gov. Wes Moore's Facebook page.
Speaking at the West Baltimore MARC train station, Gov. Wes Moore on June 15, 2023 announces the revival of plans for the Red Line transit project in Baltimore. Screenshot via Gov. Wes Moore's Facebook page.

Baltimore’s Red Line transit project is getting a second chance, eight years after former Gov. Larry Hogan shut down plans for the originally planned east-west light rail.

Speaking at the West Baltimore MARC train station, Gov. Wes Moore on Thursday announced that he will restart progress on the Red Line, a promise he made on the campaign trail.

“Today, I stand here to say that right now our state is ready to do big things again,” Moore said. “This adminsitration stands in partnership with community groups, with local elected officials and elected officials at all levels of government, with advocates, with activists, with residents. And we say with one voice: now is the time that we are going to get this right.”

To move forward, the project will need an updated environmental study on the Red Line’s potential impact on the area. The project will be open to federal funds after the study is updated.

Moore criticized the cancellation of the project by Hogan, who had cited cost concerns for his decision to halt the Red Line.

“That decision was about who would reap the benefits of transportation investments, and who would be left behind,” Moore said. 

The funds for the project were dispersed across other areas in the state, with very little going to Baltimore County or Baltimore City.

“Nearly $1 billion in federal funds were handed back, voluntarily,” Moore said. “$700 million that were meant to be used for the Baltimore Red Line went towards building more state roads outside of the city. Government left the city of Baltimore, the Baltimore region, and the dreams of the people here, behind.” 

Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller, Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and other local and state government officials joined Moore at the Thursday press conference.

Cardin also took a shot at the previous administration, saying Baltimore City received none of the money from the Red Line fund.

“They redirected close to $2 billion into road projects and, Mayor Scott, none of that money went to Baltimore City,” Cardin said. “County Executive Olszewski, less than 1% of that money went to Baltimore County. Baltimore was left behind.” 

Miller said that the purpose of the Red Line extends beyond transportation. 

“The Red Line is not just about transportation,” Miller said. “It’s about building a stronger, more connected, more inclusive, more equitable Baltimore. It’s about providing equal opportunities for all residents, easing congestion, fostering economic growth, and preserving our environment. The future of Baltimore depends on the Red Line. The future of Maryland depends on the Red Line because Maryland is a state where we will leave no one behind.” 

Moore’s administration will be expanding on the initial plan for the Red Line.

“In the weeks and months ahead, we will be studying a future phase of the Red Line project that will extend the current Red Line plan to job centers in eastern Baltimore County,” Moore said.

Jake Shindel is a summer intern for Baltimore Fishbowl. A rising senior at Towson University, Jake has held many positions within the campus newspaper, The Towerlight, and had a previous internship at...

2 replies on “‘Our state is ready to do big things again’: Gov. Moore relaunches plans for Red Line in Baltimore, proposes extension of transit project to eastern Baltimore County”

  1. This east west transit corridor project would greatly benefit the city and county by creating connections with north-south transit routes, light rail, subway & Amtrak which do not exist due to lack of regional planning. A combination of bus rapid routes and tunnelling would appear to be a compromise solution. Make it happen now

  2. There have been studies which show the single most significant factor in lifting people out of poverty is access to good, cheap public transportation. I hope Baltimore does this right, and doesn’t build a slow, small-scale surface-street light rail line through downtown, but recognizes the long-term investment needed by routing it through the existing Metro tunnel, and then extending it on a separated right-of-way both to the East and to the West, connecting underprivileged neighborhoods with retail & industrial job-centers, shopping & leisure centers, and connecting suburban neighborhood commuters with downtown. It should indeed be built BIG, from Columbia in the West to White Marsh and Sparrow’s Point in the East. That might actually alleviate some traffic off of the Beltway, which is way over capacity and incredibly dangerous.

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