Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ike Leggett and Larry Hogan Are Trying to Drive Me Crazy

It's true.  To wit:
  1. Maryland has gotten $28 million to study a maglev (magnetic levitation train) route between Washington and Baltimore, even though it would ultimately take billions and billions to build the route and thus save a few minutes compared to current Amtrak service.  Meanwhile, the existing Northeast corridor service desperately needs funds to repair its aging and often breaking infrastructure.  I know that the governor went to Japan and was super impressed by their high speed trains (Wow!  Super fast trains!  Neat!), but this is just silly.  The state legislature actually passed a law in 2004 blocking previous efforts to waste time and money on this approach. 

  2. Ike Leggett has now announced that the county will fund one or two BRT routes even though this also does not make sense.  The options are on Rockville Pike between Rockville and Bethesda (which already has Metro Red Line service so that's pretty much redundant), Columbia Pike, or Veirs Mill Road.  The Veirs Mill Road route is projected to cost $285 million.  Meanwhile, the proposed Q9 MetroExtra bus between Rockville and Wheaton  ("the Veirs Mill Road Limited") was just withdrawn by WMATA due to lack of funding, even though it was projected to cost less than $2 million a year.  Ummm, what?  Fund the C9 and/or Q9!  If people want to combine the two, have the C9 end at Rockville instead of Twinbrook on the Red Line, but fund the C9.  Perhaps the problem is that according to that WMATA report, 81% of MetroBus riders are minorities and 52% are low income residents.  Why waste money trying to attract middle class white people who don't want to ride the bus instead of improving service for the people who are actually already riding the bus? 

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