Transit bill is good for both rural and urban Maryland

Kudos to The Sun for supporting the Maryland Transportation and Infrastructure Act of 2013 ("Transit benefits us all," March 26). The measure would fund much-needed public transportation, as well as roads, bridges and highways.

Despite the predictable moans from some of the state's rural legislators, public transit is in fact good for residents in rural areas as well as for those in urban areas.

Each year, more than 5.5 million rural riders depend on transit to get to work, visit their doctor, go shopping or run their everyday errands efficiently — and with less pollution. Moreover, research shows communities that are well served by transit are rebounding economically faster than others.

It is also clear that every county in the state needs more funding to meet local needs. How and where we spend our transportation dollars is critical to the state's recovery.

Balanced plans like the one offered by this measure will fund priorities like repairing our roads and bridges and improve transit options all across Maryland , which are key to a healthy environment and a strong economy.

Dru Schmidt-Perkins, Baltimore

The writer is executive director of 1000 Friends of Maryland.

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