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Report advocates for new light-rail lines in Maryland


The advocacy group Transportation for America on Wednesday released a report highlighting the potential benefits of two proposed light-rail lines in Maryland.

The report, titled "Weighing Maryland's Economic Future," examines a proposal to build the 14.1-mile Red Line that would connect suburban West Baltimore County with Bayview in East Baltimore City, as well as a plan to build the 16.2-mile Purple Line that would connect Montgomery County to Prince George's County.

The Red Line, which is slated to have 19 stations along its route, would run through downtown Baltimore. For its part, the Purple Line would have 21 stops.

"The Red Line would travel through some of the most challenged neighborhoods in baltimore, where population declines and years of underinvestment have led to vacant properties, high poverty levels, and lack of opportunity," Transportation for America officials wrote. "Many parts of the city lack health care facilities, fresh food options, and other stores and services to meet their residents' daily needs."

Together, the lines would make 540,000 jobs accessible via rail transit, in addition to generating $9 billion for the local economy, the group estimated.

"Making smart investments in transportation, and especially in transit, is a crucial part of their strategy to stay competitive and attract the talented workforce that is increasingly seeking out jobs and homes in walkable, connected cities and neighborhoods," Transportation for America spokesman Stephen Davis said Wednesday in a blog post.

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More News from 5/8/2015