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Tuesday, July 26 2016 @ 07:48 PM UTC

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The problem isn't the gas tax, it's sprawl

Mass TransitFrom the Baltimore Sun

No doubt many will write decrying a proposal to increase Maryland's gas tax. They will assert that taxes adequate to maintain our transportation system would impose an unacceptable burden on our citizens. However, they are complaining about a symptom, not the disease. They should be complaining about land use policies promoting sprawl and transportation decisions that starve public transportation, leaving our citizens with no alternative to continued addiction to gasoline.

Those meeting their transportation needs by walking, biking, using the bus or rail aren't vulnerable to oil-price driven increases in the cost of gas or proposals to increase gas taxes.
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Streetcar tracks deleted from 11th Street Bridge (for now)

Mass Transit[B' Spokes: Is it too easy to build car centric roads and harder to build anything else?]
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from Greater Greater Washington


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Already, federal regulations impose greater burdens on transit projects. To get funding, transit projects have to meet complex cost-effectiveness criteria while highway projects do not. The FTA acts at times like it's the Federal Make Transit More Difficult Administration. That's not because they're anti-transit, per se, but simply that they are regulating transit, FHWA is regulating roads, and FTA is the stricter parent.
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TTI: Mass Transit Saved Drivers 45.4 Million Hours Last Year

Mass TransitHighlight from Streetsblog Capitol Hill by Tanya Snyder

If there were no transit, the country’s drivers would be facing an additional 796 million hours of traffic delay. (Take that, drivers who grumble when their gas tax “user fee” funds mass transit!)

[For Baltimore mass transit saved 13,924,000 hours of delay and congestion cost savings of $295,800,000.]

<a href="http://dc.streetsblog.org/2011/09/27/tti-mass-transit-saved-drivers-45-4-million-hours-last-year/">http://dc.streetsblog.org/2011/09/27/tti-mass-transit-saved-drivers-45-4-million-hours-last-year/</a>;
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"Spider map" can demystify bus service

Mass Transit[B' Spokes: I really wish someone would do this for at least some key Baltimore locations.]
from Greater Greater Washington by Peter Dunn

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image
Image by the author. Click for full version (PDF).

Rather than attempt to communicate the entire route network, a spider map only shows the routes that serve stops within walking distance. Like London's famous Tube map, it also forgoes the geographic accuracy of a street map for a simplified diagram of connections and destinations. It answers the questions "where can I go from here?" and "what bus do I take to get there?" without adding unnecessary information.

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Say no to the gas tax - says Tea Party

Mass Transit “Sadly, it has been used in large cities to subside a transportation system, the subway systems of New York, Chicago, San Francisco. &quot;
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Region has 6,000+ with no car, no transit access

Mass Transitfrom Getting There by Michael Dresser

The greater Baltimore region has more than 6,000 household that lack either a car or access to mass transit services, according to a report released Thursday by the Brookings Institution.

That number is overshadowed by the more than 114,000 regional households that own no vehicles but do have access to transit. That puts the region at 94.6 percent coverage for zero-vehicle households -- coming in 20th out of 100 metropolitan areas around the country.

The Baltimore numbers do show a significant gap between the city and the suburbs in transit access for such households, most with low family incomes. While the city has 100 percent transit coverage, according to Brookings, 85.1 percent of no-vehicle households in the suburbs have such access.

When it comes to providing no-vehicle households with access to jobs, the region doesn't fare as well. The report days Baltimore provides 42 percent of no-vehicle households with access to jobs -- ranking 32nd out of 100. Of those households, 50.3 percent are in the city and 23.7 percent in the suburbs.
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Too Many Transfers, Too Much Parking, Not Enough Multi-Modalism

Mass Transit&quot;Transit Stations Built for Cars Aren’t Built for Transit Riders:&quot;

Hear, hear! This and more points: <a href="http://streetsblog.net/2011/06/20/too-many-transfers-too-much-parking-not-enough-multi-modalism/">http://streetsblog.net/2011/06/20/too-many-transfers-too-much-parking-not-enough-multi-modalism/</a>;
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New site highlights transit options

Mass TransitBy SHANTEÉ WOODARDS - Hometown Annapolis

A new website aims to transform area motorists into commuters by connecting them to their nearest bus and rail lines.

Annapolis and Anne Arundel County are among 10 locations featured on <a href="http://www.mdtrip.org">www.mdtrip.org</a>;, which was launched this spring. Central Maryland Regional Transit, or CMRT, originally created the site to show the elderly and disabled how to use public transportation, but organizers encourage anyone to use it and hope it will result in 4,000 people using the bus over the next year.

&quot;There's so much information out there for all the different providers … and people often have a difficult time navigating all of that information,&quot; said Julie Rosekrans, a travel trainer for the organization. &quot;We wanted to come up with a way to combine what's out there to help (commuters) figure out how to get from point A to point B.&quot;

The site is the latest effort to get cars off the road. Annapolis officials are in the midst of updating their bicycle master plan, which is designed to make the region easier for commuters to use bicycles instead of other vehicles.

There have been setbacks.
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Mass transit 15 min travel time, starting at any location.

Mass Transitimage

http://www.mapnificent.net/baltimore/
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It Ain't Just Sticker Shock, Folks

Mass TransitBy Laura Barrett

The pain of watching the Total screen on the gas pump speed past the price of subway fare, then bus fare, then Amtrak fare, and finally settle somewhere around budget airline fare, is enough to get anybody thinking about “alternative transportation.”

But there’s one thing wrong in the portrayal the average American as mindlessly car-obsessed, and interested in “alternatives” only at times when gas prices pinch. It’s not true. It was April 2010—more than a year ago—when 82% of Americans polled said they wanted expanded transportation options, “such as trains and buses,” and 79% of rural voters said the same. They didn’t say so because of sticker shock at the gas pump. Average gas prices were below $3 a gallon in April 2010. They’re around $4 now.

In fact, in 2010 as a whole, American voters approved 43 out of 56 public transportation ballot initiatives, at a rate of 77 percent, for a total of more than $1 billion of funding. To be clear, that’s 77% approval of higher taxes for public transportation. In an ongoing economic crisis. During a nationwide frenzy of budget-slashing. Before gas prices spiked.

Need more historical perspective? From 1995 through 2009, while gas prices went up and down, public transportation ridership increased by 31%—more than the 15% increase in U.S. population and the 21% increase in highway use over the same period. There’s something deeper going on here, and any policymaker who even pretends to follow the will of the people should be paying attention.

Eighty-two percent of Americans say they want expanded transportation options because, to start with, the average working American spends 396 hours a year behind the wheel—roughly 10 work weeks. And most of that time isn’t fun. Especially when more of that time than ever is spent in traffic. The average household spends 18 cents of every dollar on transportation, 94% of which goes to buying, maintaining, and operating cars. Households that are likely to use public transportation on a given day save over $9,000 every year. That matters especially now, with millions of ordinary people still struggling to make do.

But it matters all the time, whatever gas prices are. And its just one of many, many public transportation benefits that have changed the minds of millions of Americans. We’re listening. We’re working with them. And we’re not the only ones.

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