Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland


Fast and efficient transportation systems drive our nation’s economy. We must revitalize our nation’s transportation infrastructure to ensure sustained economic growth in Maryland and keep America competitive in an increasingly globalized economy. Federal investment in public transportation like MARC, Metro, and Amtrak should be a national priority. Improving access to affordable public transportation improves the livability of our communities by making it easier for Marylanders to commute to and from work, access services and spend less time stuck in traffic. Our nation receives extraordinary public benefit from mass transit systems.  

Public transportation systems take thousands of cars off our congested highways, reduce air pollution emissions, and help reduce the wear and tear on our region’s roads and highways. I will continue to support our most important transportation priorities, including adequate funding for our existing transit systems, as well as expanding them to include the new Red Line in Baltimore, the Purple Line in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, and the Corridor Cities Transitway along the I-270 corridor.

I think it is important to maintain a state-of-good-repair on the existing transportation infrastructure that we as a nation have worked hard and invested greatly to build. This is critically important to ensuring the safety and efficiency of Maryland’s highways and bridges.

Key Facts

  • Greater Washington area roads and highways are the 4th most congested in the nation. (Texas Transportation Institute: 2010 Annual Urban Mobility Report)
  • Baltimore area roads and highways are the 14th most congested in the nation and the most congested among “large” (populations greater than 1 million, but fewer than 3 million) urban areas. (Texas Transportation Institute: 2010 Annual Urban Mobility Report)
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics has found that the average American household spends one-fifth of its annual income on transportation expenses and that transportation costs are the second largest household expense, after housing costs.
  • Households with greater access to public transportation spend considerably less on personal transportation than those who are dependent on driving themselves.


How much of the federal Surface Transportation Program Trust Fund (i.e. “gas tax” revenues) goes towards public transit?
Nationwide, public transit only receives a 25% share of federal Surface Transportation Program Funds, which provide flexible funding that may be used by States and localities for transportation-related projects.  The majority of the funding goes to the National Highway System.
What is the federal return on investment in public transportation?
The American Public Transportation Association estimates that for every $1 invested in public transportation, $4 is generated in economic returns.  Additionally, every $1 billion invested in public transportation supports and creates 36,000 jobs.  That’s nearly 30 percent more than the 28,000 jobs created by a $1 billion investment in highway construction.
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