TRAC's Legislative Agenda

We are the new voice of transit riders in Baltimore. Formed in December 2004, TRAC stands up for riders and fights to build a better system.

On TRAC's behalf Senator Pugh has introduced into the Senate three bills, SB438, SB439, and SB463. Delegate Haynes introduced identical versions into the HB770, HB874, and HB868.

SB 0438 / HB 0770 Continuation of Passenger Railroad Service on Amtrak and CSX Lines.

This bill updates state law to require on the Perryville and Frederick lines a minimum level of service equal to what it was when the service opened. Current service is much higher than that.
SB 0438 has passed the Senate 46 to 1. HB 0770 has passed the House 133 to 0. The original bills were slightly amended but are still identical. They have each crossed over to the other chamber. We expect them to pass.

SB 0463 / HB 0868 Maryland Transit Administration – Public Hearings

This bill increases the circumstances under which the MTA must hold public hearings, requires that changes be implemented between 6 weeks and 6 months after the public hearings, requires that public hearings be held at a time and place accessible by patrons of the affected service, and requires that the hearing be postponed if insufficient notice is not given.

During the hearing in the Senate Finance Committee, TRAC and others suggested an amendment to correct a typing error in the draft bill that required hearings whenever a bus stop location was changed. All concerned agreed this placed an unreasonable burden on the MTA. Even with this change, MTA took a position against the bill. Fortunately,  negotiations between TRAC and the MTA yielded mutually acceptable language.
SB 0463 passed the Senate 47 to 0. HB 0868 passed the House 132 to 0. They have each crossed over to the other chamber. We expect them to pass.

SB 0439 / HB 0874 Baltimore Metropolitan Transit District Advisory Council

This bill creates an Advisory Council made up of 13 members: 6 from Baltimore City, 3 from Baltimore County, 2 from Anne Arundel County, and one each from Hartford and Howard County. The members must be transit riding residents of each jurisdiction and are appointed for 2 years by the executive head of the jurisdiction. The council shall study, investigate, and monitor bus and rail transit in the Baltimore Metropolitan Transit District and make recommendations to the administration with respect to bus and rail transit in the Baltimore Metropolitan Transit District. The administration shall provide staff and resources to the council and state and local agencies shall comply with any reasonable request for information or documentation made by the advisory council.

During the hearing in the Senate Finance Committee there were two suggested amendments. One set asides two positions for members of the disabled community. The other was for two or three set asides for members of the business community.

The MTA has taken a position against this bill. As part of the negotiations regarding SB 463/HB 868, TRAC agreed to withdraw these bills until next year.

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Soon the MTA Fare Box Recovery requirement will rise to 50%. An important item for next year is a permanent reduction in the Fare Box Recovery requirement.

For more info contact Nate Payer at 410.837.0225 or getontrac@gmail.com.

For detailed bill info, contact Saul Wilson at SWilson@getontrac.org.