In an effort to increase transit ridership, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is releasing nearly $100 million in grants for Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS).
The funding, approved by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and members of the General Assembly during the recent legislative session, will cover operating and capital costs for the 25 LOTS programs statewide for Fiscal Year 2015. The passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act helped increase funding by $5 million over FY 2014 figures. The $94,987,124 in FY 2015 funds is from Maryland’s Transportation Trust Fund and the LOTS program is managed by the MTA.
“Residents across our great state rely on their local transit providers to get to jobs, schools, doctors visits and other important appointments,” said Gov. O’Malley. “This funding will help meet the needs of residents while helping the state meet our goal of doubling transit ridership by 2020. Working together with leadership of the General Assembly, we’re making record investments in building a 21st century transportation network that delivers for more Marylanders.”
The type of services offered by each county’s LOTS depends on the jurisdiction’s size, needs and population. Some jurisdictions have extensive fixed-route service, while others offer demand-response service that provides door-to-door transportation. LOTS provides services to approximately 41 million riders each year.
“Transit works when it takes people to where they want to go,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary James Smith, Jr. “Thanks to the leadership of the O’Malley-Brown Administration and members of the General Assembly in passing the transportation act, the increase in grant funds this year will allow more people to take advantage of improved transit services statewide.”