March 12, 2006

Support public transportation

Considering the economic future and growth of the western portion of Anne Arundel County expected with the Fort Meade expansion plans, one would think that upgrading and continuing funding of our current public transportation would make sense. Public transportation not only reduces traffic congestion for the benefit of our environment, but it also provides a public service to many that cannot afford a car. It is very disconcerting to find out that a federal grant, known as the Job Access Reverse Commute (JARC) Program, is cutting short funding that supports the Corridor Transportation Corporation (CTC). The CTC, an affiliate of the Baltimore-Washington Corridor Chamber of Commerce, which operates bus routes in western Anne Arundel County, has been an appealing public service to many lower- and middle-class citizens. Both employers and employees benefit from this public service. Several newspapers and CTC officials have reported that nearly 70 percent of CTC riders use the bus to get to work. CTC is a vital component of transportation for the suburb-to-suburb commuter, and it provides a critical link to jobs for those who are in school-to-work and welfare-to-work programs.

I encourage our governor and elected officials to help find the funding for CTC and its bus routes. When we are looking for ways to reduce traffic and expand economic growth, we need to look no further than improving our existing transportation infrastructure. If we are looking to plan for the growth expected from the Fort Meade expansion, let's start with continuing and improving our transportation infrastructure. I agree with the plans to study the expansion of Metrorail's Green line into the Fort Meade area and the possible expansion of existing Metrobus routes. However, for now, I believe that it is critical to support the current transportation services that already exist and not reduce funding.

Andrew Pruski Gambrills

The writer is a Democratic candidate for County Council in District 4.

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