U.S. Congressman John P. Sarbanes (D-Md.) today announced the restoration of U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funding for bus transit operations in Annapolis. The measure passed the House of Representatives as part of the surface transportation reauthorization bill.
"The Annapolis bus system provides a critical service to people who depend on public transportation to get around the city," said Congressman Sarbanes. "This change in policy ensures that people in Annapolis benefit directly from federal transportation funding and have access to service they can count on. An efficient transit system not only relieves congestion on crowded roads, but it also provides much needed relief to the environment."
"The City of Annapolis appreciates Congressman Sarbanes' dedication in helping us meet our transit needs," Annapolis Mayor Joshua J. Cohen said. "We are grateful the Congressman understands the demands that an urban transit system puts on a small city and I applaud his commitment."
Transit systems around the country depend on DOT funding to support operations, make infrastructure investments, and provide transportation service. The funding, which is awarded to public recipients such as municipalities and state governments, is determined through a set of benchmarks including population size and project details.
Under DOT guidelines, recipients with populations over 200,000 are prohibited from using funds for operational expenses such as personnel costs and vehicle maintenance. Due to a change in census policy, Annapolis has been included with the greater Baltimore area in population calculations, putting its population over 200,000. This change prohibits the city from using federal funds for its operational expenses and forces the city and state government to provide funding to cover these costs.
A measure included in the surface transportation reauthorization bill remedied this problem by creating an exception for transit systems that operate fewer than 100 vehicles. Annapolis' bus transit system is well under the limit.
The bill, which has also been passed by the Senate, has been sent to the President for his signature.