August 21, 2009

CARDIN, MIKULKSI ANNOUNCE $78.3 MILLION IN RECOVERY ACT FUNDS FOR MARYLAND TRANSIT

MARC, Baltimore METRO and LRT to benefit from federal grants

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today announced that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is receiving $78,321,223 in federal grant money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  Funds will be used for priority infrastructure projects, including the purchase of buses and railcars, expanding parking and service, repairing station platforms and tunnels, upgrading MARC's public address system, and improving safety and security statewide.

 

"Public transit helps keep Maryland's economy moving forward during good economic times and bad, taking thousands of cars off our congested roads and taking tons of pollutants out of the air we breathe," said Senator Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee. "This infusion of more than $78 million in Recovery Act funds will help MTA make the kinds of investments that are needed to keep our transit system safe, secure, and able to handle the growing number of riders turning to Metro, MARC and Baltimore Light Rail."

 

"This funding is an investment in keeping Marylanders on the move and keeping congestion off our streets," said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.  "As more Marylanders turn to Metro, MARC and the light rail to get them to work and connect them to family and friends, you can count on me to fight for the federal investments needed to keep it safe, reliable and growing."

 

The federal funds announced by Senators Cardin and Mikulski are from two Federal Transit Administration awards. The first provides $5,437,487 toward the purchase of 24 buses; 18 will replace older vehicles and six will expand transit service. Funds also will be used for bus stop shelters, communications, rehabilitation of park-and-ride lots and security equipment. The second grant provides $72,883,736 to purchase 10 buses and contribute toward Metro's purchase of new rail cars; track improvements; parking expansion, including the LRT Falls Road Station; rehabilitation of Metro tunnel and underground stations, the MARC Muirkirk Retaining Wall and the MARC Laurel Station platform.   Other funds will replace track and communications equipment, including a much-needed upgrade to MARC's public address system.   Vice President Biden visited the MARC Laurel Station in February with Senator Cardin to highlight the urgent need for transit-related infrastructure funds in Maryland and across the nation.