Transportation Policy In Maryland

Focus on Economic Performance

Studies Wendell Cox Jan 30, 2012


This paper examines highway and transit policy in Maryland based upon the proposition that its principal purpose should be to maximize economic growth, which would also minimize poverty. Such a focus would improve the state's competitiveness by the most effective use of public expenditures.

The analysis is limited to highways and transit because these two modes of transport are subject to day-to-day political considerations, including decisions about the use of scarce funding raised through taxation and user fees. Ports and airports are also crucial to the economy of Maryland. However, these facilities are managed as government enterprises and are operated subject to commercial disciplines. As a result, they are less susceptible to day-to-day political considerations and control, which would dilute their contribution to the economy of the state.   

The paper will describe Maryland's highway and transit situation. It will then examine the relationship between better mobility, economic growth, and lower levels of poverty. There then follows a review of transportation policy, concluding with recommendations to refocus policies to maximize economic growth and minimize poverty.