After weeks of stewing over Gov. Larry Hogan’s rejection of the Red Line, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake today said she has authorized the city’s transportation director to start looking for alternatives to the $2.9 billion light-rail plan.
Asked for specifics, the mayor said just about everything is up in the air except her goal to “improve public transportation for our communities” and to develop an east-west transit corridor.
She said “rapid bus,” a concept touted by the Hogan administration, is one of several options. “I have not had a full briefing on the options,” she said. Asked about potential funding, she replied, “It’s too early to say.”
After Hogan’s rejection of the Red Line last month, the mayor lobbied other elected officials and called on the governor to reconsider.
Her transportation director, William M. Johnson, said the city had no “Plan B” to the 14-mile light-rail line that was projected from Woodlawn in Baltimore County to the Bayview campus of Johns Hopkins University in East Baltimore.
Today she said that she has asked Johnson to start looking for a “Plan B,” while she collaborates with the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and Kevin Kamenetz, the Baltimore County executive, for solutions.
On August 10, she and her staff are planning to meet with Pete Rahn, secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, to discuss local and regional transit options in the wake of the Red Line’s demise.
Asked if one option might be running a spur of the Metro subway line west from Lexington Market and extending the subway east from its terminus at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the mayor said, “That one I have not heard of.”