Baltimore should be a city that works for its residents, students and employees, including offering a great transportation system. However, the state of our current public transportation system is woefully inadequate, plagued by long commute times, limited routing and a lack of integration. Our city is disconnected and inequitable in providing mobility to our citizens.
In a city with poor public transit, where one-third of residents don’t have access to a car, this becomes a barrier to gaining employment, grocery shopping or even getting your child to school on time. A 2015 study found commuting time to be the strongest factor determining the odds of escaping poverty. Mobility from poverty is central to making Baltimore safe for everyone. We simply can’t afford a weak transportation system that doesn’t serve the most vulnerable populations.
A robust public transportation system is essential to green and thriving cities, improving air quality by reducing congestion and pollution. Our reliance on automobiles contributes to health disparities in Baltimore, particularly in asthma prevalence. Today, 23% of workers in Baltimore spend 45 minutes or more commuting one-way – wasting time, burning fuel and adding to poor air quality.
At its core, Baltimore needs an efficient, reliable, and affordable multimodal system, a key component of transportation justice. Beyond a strong bus and rail system, walking, biking and other modes of transit like e-scooters should be encouraged with a focus on safety and equity. To date, little has been done to offer solutions to Baltimore’s transportation inadequacies, or a Plan B when programs fall through. Mary will take accountability to advocate for solutions and take steps to get things done to create an equitable, public transit-oriented Baltimore.
As Mayor, Mary will improve transportation and mobility for everyone in Baltimore by:
- Taking Greater Local Control,
- Improving Bus Service Equitably,
- Making the City Safer for Pedestrians and Bicyclists, and
- Expanding Students’ Access to Transit.
Equity issues in Baltimore are interconnected. Mary’s time in the Obama Administration gave her the experience to tackle complex problems. Since launching in January, Mary has released a plan to Make Baltimore Safe for Everyone, Create Inclusive Growth, and Strengthen our Education System, all tying into her plan to Make Transportation Work for Baltimore.