BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Maryland Transit Administration will not get federal funding under the second coronavirus stimulus plan passed in the House of Representatives, the state’s transportation department said Monday.
The House passed the HEROES Act 208-199 in mid-May. The bill includes financial payments for local and state governments and direct payments of up to $1,200 per individual.
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It will not, however, provide any funding to the MTA, money Transportation Secretary Greg Slater called “critical” to fill revenue losses brought on by the pandemic.
In a statement, Slater said:
“Under the current legislation, MDOT Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) would not receive any funding under the HEROES Act because Baltimore’s population is less than 3 million and the HEROES Act is based on population not on transit ridership. MDOT MTA is the nation’s 12th largest transit agency in terms of ridership and the HEROES Act is giving funds to areas with much less ridership.
“While ridership declines were drastic across MDOT MTA throughout the pandemic, the core bus service in the Baltimore region remained down about 56% because so many people depend on transit to get where they need to go. The Baltimore transit system continues to serve the critical function of transporting essential workers to healthcare, hospitals, pharmacies and grocery stores.
“Our workforce continues to work hard, but additional federal funding is critical to backfill these declines in revenue to keep people moving and safe.”
MTA service returned to normal schedules on Sunday as ridership recovers amid the pandemic.