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Former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. caught my attention recently when he said he would pull the plug on light rail for Baltimore's Red Line and the Washington suburban Purple Line and focus spending on, among other things, rehab of MARC.

That got me to wondering about the relative levels of spending on MARC during the first Ehrlich term and the O'Malley years. Here are the totals for both capital and operations spending, provided by  the Maryland Department of Transportation.

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Fiscal Year                 Total Investment in millions (000)

FY 2003                 $  71,509

FY 2004                     76,944

FY 2005                     76,708

FY 2006                     97,488

FY 2007                   101,622

FY 2008                   144,831

FY 2009                   195,314

FY 2010 (Projected)       162,099

Fiscal years begin July 1. The first fiscal year of a governor's term (FY2003 for Ehrlich, FY2007 for Martin O'Malley) generally reflects a combination of that governor's decisions and his predecessor's.  The second fiscal year is a better reflection of that governor's priorities.  The fiscal 2010 figure may be incomplete.

What do these figures mean? MARC riders (and others) are welcome to weigh in.

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