MAGGIE MCINTOSH HEADED FOR YEARS THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE IN THE HOUSE AND NOW SHE IS AT THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE.
Maggie leads as a Johns Hopkins pol and her committee assignments show how she is used to advance Hopkins policies. Remember, Hopkins is the most neo-conservative institution in the world and so are Hopkins' pols even as they run as Democrats and control the Maryland Democratic Party.
As chair of the Environment and Transportation Committee Maggie was there to push the privatization of the Port of Baltimore to the Johns Hopkins' investment firm HighStar----she pushed the privatization of public transit to the French global corporation VEOLA of which Hopkins is a shareholder by way of an acquisition of this global corporation's second industry-----VEOLA ENVIRONMENT. So, global VEOLA sold the rights of VEOLA ENVIRONMENT operating in the US to HighStar in exchange for rights to take over our Maryland public transit system. Maggie McIntosh also pushed SMART METERS for both energy and public waste and water as part of this privatization of public water and waste to VEOLA ENVIRONMENTAL. She pushed the medical waste incinerator in West Baltimore for a cheap alternative to disposing hospital waste even as it is the most environmentally unfriendly way to dispose not to mention health risks for communities around this business. She led in making sure fracking and moving natural gas around Maryland to get to export terminals. As you can see------to be head of committees that could be very progressive-----public transportation, environment, and energy----
SHE MADE SURE ALL POLICY WAS VERY CORPORATE AND SENT BILLIONS OF PUBLIC MONEY TO CORPORATE PROFIT AT THE EXPENSE OF THE CITIZENS OF MARYLAND.
So, Maggie is the face of fracking and exporting natural gas-----the face of privatizing water and waste and attaching SMART METERS for rationing energy and water. She is the face of consolidating BGE and Exelon taking Maryland citizens hostage to a national energy corporation and she is the face of ending public transportation and limiting the ability of the working class and poor to having a ready source of transportation. Think as well how ending public transportation is really bad for the environment. She leads in the super fast train that will get people from Washington to Boston in no time for a high price-----many cannot even afford AMTRAK as subsidies for the public disappear. The MTA in Baltimore is so dysfunctional and defunded that the service looks more like one in El Salvador than a developed nation. JUST STAND ON THE CORNER AND WAIT-----that is what people taking a bus do as schedules are not followed for the most part. Of course people using public transit for work and school take their entire day simply getting from point A to point B.
But VEOLA runs all of the College Town buses ---all new and having schedules that run on time with buses coming every 15-20 minutes JUST AS ANY HEALTHY PUBLIC TRANSIT AGENCY WOULD. All of this is paid for with the MTA funds and allows students and employees of Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland have dependable public transportation.
REMEMBER----JOHNS HOPKINS IS A CORPORATION GETTING PUBLIC MONEY FOR THE BEST PUBLIC TRANSIT IN TOWN. IT SEES ITSELF AS THE MAJOR EMPLOYER AND BALTIMORE AS ITS COMPANY TOWN. Of course Google in San Francisco is doing the same thing accept Hopkins grew to global corporate status by taking trillions of dollars of public money and Google made money selling a useful product. When you have pols working to make sure all public money moves to you and that none of the fraud and corruption can find justice-----those pols are worth the money!
Global corporate VEOLA also runs our Circulator buses which were toted as free service through downtown. Now, they are going to charge. Every city I have lived that has a functioning public transit system simply allows buses running through city center to ALL BE FREE---no separate privately run bus system needed. Waiting for Circulator as three city buses drive by mostly empty----REALLY????? The only point of this madness is defunding to get people mad at public service and rebuilding private transit under the guise of public private partnerships. The public pays for the new buses and the maintenance and VEOLA gets lots of profit as does Hopkins as a major shareholder through HighStar.
VEOLA took taxis with prices rising -----$10 to go 1 mile. Most are lined up outside of Harbor East hotels or the train station. Don't worry-----for the rest of us we can flag down strangers driving their own vehicles for rent because they have no job and are trying to keep their car. Airport transit service has VEOLA as Super Shuttle exposed for slave labor.
KEEP IN MIND THIS IS ALL HAPPENING BECAUSE OF MARYLAND ASSEMBLY AND THE ENVIRONMENT AND TRANSPORATION COMMITTEE AND APPROPRIATIONS----BOTH TIED WITH MAGGIE MCINTOSH.
Montgomery County received funding to convert all of its public transit to VEOLA and now VEOLA is looking for a new designation and agency that moves from MTA to a private transit agency. BYE BYE MARYLAND PUBLIC TRANSIT!
As you see below-----all of this is still supported by taxpayer money and heaven knows all of the Maryland Transportation Trust went to building this Montgomery County infrastructure that is now moving to private agency. So, no public money is saved----it simply is increasingly going to subsidize corporate profit. ALL OF THIS IS MAGGIE MCINTOSH AND JOHNS HOPKINS.
The insanity of dismantling the most democratic of policies like public transportation that worked effectively for a century or more all to move profit to the richest is hard to understand.
Montgomery County Releases New Details on Independent Transit Authority
Proposed transit authority would be funded partially through a new county tax and is being planned to streamline the development of local projects that could lead to significant growth by Andrew Metcalf
The title and photos posted with the fact sheet the county released Friday afternoon detailing the Independent Transit Authority.
Montgomery County officials provided more details on the proposed public transit authority first pitched by County Executive Ike Leggett in his third inauguration speech in December, including how it would be funded and the transit projects it would be responsible for.
The Independent Transit Authority would be funded through a new “county transit tax” that would replace the current transit tax, which is paid by all county taxpayers, according to a fact sheet posted Friday afternoon on the county’s website.
The fact sheet described the tax as “a stable and reliable source of revenue for funding transit.” Other funding for the transit authority would come from the county’s capital budget, state and federal grants, private-sector contributions, fare revenues from public transit and parking lot district revenue.
The tax rate would be set by the Montgomery County Council. Patrick Lacefield, Leggett’s spokesman, said there’s no plan to raise the transit tax, but said, “We’re trying to deal with the fact that to push rapid transit forward, we need resources.”
The council would decide whether to raise the tax rate. “The taxing authority would stay just where it is now,” Lacefield said, “with the County Council.”
The new transit authority would focus on developing the planned Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) in the county; coordinate construction of transit projects such as the Purple Line with the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the Maryland Transit Authority; maintain and run the county’s fleet of RideOn transit vehicles; and operate the county’s four parking lot districts.
The county executive would appoint members to the transit authority’s board of directors, but the County Council would have control over much of the decision-making, according to the fact sheet. The council would approve the authority’s capital project budget and confirm appointments to the authority’s board.
The county’s delegation of state legislators has submitted legislation to the General Assembly that would enable the county to set up the transit authority. Before the authority is approved, a “plethora” of public hearings will be scheduled so the community can offer input, according to Lacefield.
Lacefield said Leggett proposed the creation of a transit authority in order to streamline the process of developing rapid transit in the county, which could enable additional growth. Recent master plan approvals such as the White Oak Science Gateway have growth triggers that only allow for higher density development to take place if public transit is constructed, according to Lacefield.
“Certain places can only develop to their full extent if there’s transit,” Lacefield said. “Really what we’re talking about is increasing the tax base for the county and increasing the jobs. These projects have the potential to create the most jobs in a single swoop that have ever been created in the county. The revenue question works both ways. To get [rapid transit systems], are you going to have to spend money? Yes. But you have to spend money to make money.”
The new transit authority may be a way for the county to have a level of independence in infrastructure planning amidst what could be a sour political environment toward major transit projects in the state. Gov. Larry Hogan’s proposed budget does include funding for the Purple Line, though he has expressed a desire to slim down the state budget and cut taxes.
In December, Hogan said his priority is to build roads and he later appointed Pete Rahn as his transportation secretary. Rahn is the former head of New Mexico’s Highway and Transportation Department, who Hogan introduced as “the best highway builder in the entire country.”
Meanwhile, County Council members including Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal are urging the State Highway Administration to speed up the planning of bus rapid transit projects that are part of the Corridor Cities Transitway.
At a meeting of county officials in December, Berliner said the planning process for bus rapid transit systems in the county needs “to be driven by the sense of urgency” that county officials feel about the projects.
Editor's note: We've clarified that the ITA will plan several Bus Rapid Transit systems in the county, not just the Corridor Cities Transitway, as a comment below notes
If you live in Baltimore you see below the exact policy reasoning for changing disability parking as this article from Washington DC. It is a national policy moving away from the Americans with Disabilities Act. The cost of downtown parking mostly now privatized garages that used to be public is becoming prohibitive and more so for people with disabilities who often have less disposable income.
IT'S ALL THAT ABUSE OF THOSE DISABILITY PLACARDS---THAT'S THE REASON WE ARE MAKING IT HARDER FOR THE DISABLED TO ACCESS DOWNTOWN!
Simple oversight and accountability would handle any of the existing problems ----they simply are trying to end ADA regulations.
Keep in mind that when MTA in Baltimore is so undependable---with entire routes dropped----that means overcrowding once buses do come. Think about people with disabilities waiting at bus stops and if these buses are full---there is no room for the disabled. It is systemic and these problems have been happening for years and it is all to dissuade people with disabilities from using the service.
Now, Baltimore has given the MTA Disability buses ----the only other access for the disabled to VEOLA which is already proving to be making route decisions about what is cheaper to run and not about extending service. So, the disabled may be transported to a location and then not be confident they will be able to get home.
Again, this is all deliberate----by people working to end public transporation and disability transportation. Johns Hopkins specializes in transporting the poor----it does not end well!
Keep in mind---these are all reflections of quality of life and even middle-class drivers can see the adverse affects of this attack on public transit. Think of MARC trains and that public subsidy. How long will that last if this process of dismantling public transportation continues. We see a Rapid Bus system starting in Montgomery County even as it ties this to the Independent Agency making this privately operated with fees that will reflect this.
I see people look at the number of poor on buses in Baltimore who think this is the problem. The problem is that the poor in Baltimore do not have jobs! That again, is because of Johns Hopkins' public policies keeping citizens in Baltimore at poverty.
New to MTA bus commuting, shocked by the poor service
A resident who depends on a regular MTA bus line wants to draw attention to the "severe dysfunction" of mass transit beyond the Charm City Circulator
Brian Levy October 27, 2014 at 10:03 am Baltimore Brew
EDITOR’s NOTE: This essay is adapted from an email written by an irate city resident to a list of public officials regarding the 13 bus line that runs the length of North Avenue. One of the city’s busiest routes, service is scheduled every 10 minutes on weekdays and Saturdays, every 15 minutes on Sundays.
I began taking the #13 bus line in September of this year. I take the route every day to and from work except those days where I have been forced to give up and walk or attempt to summon a cab.
The service has been consistently terrible since the very first day I took the line.
In general, the #13 bus is often late and is always overcrowded. I will point to two incidents, both occurring this week, which illustrate my concerns.
These instances are representative of the types of rides I encounter a few days every week since starting to ride this bus.
Doors Shut, Left Without Us
Last Wednesday, October 22nd, I arrived at the #13 bus stop on the corner of North Avenue and Charles Street heading east at 7:00 a.m. I waited till 7:40 a.m. before a bus finally came.
By the time it did arrive, a crowd of about 25 people had gathered to get on. However, the bus that had arrived was so full that the driver only allowed one person who was waiting on.
She then shut the doors and continued on her route without the rest of us.
Let me emphasize, this is not the first time that this has occurred to me. I was lucky enough to have the money to walk down three blocks and grab a cab. I was over an hour late for work that day.
Dodging Would-be Riders
Last Friday, October 24th, I waited for the #13 at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of Harford Road and North Avenue, heading west. About 12 people waited with me.
When the bus arrived all 12 of us packed on. The bus was so crowded that five of us had to stand in front of the yellow line next to the driver. (In plain view of the sign that states it is against federal law to stand in front of the yellow line).
Every seat on this bus was taken. Every inch of standing room was filled. The driver proceeded to skip the next three bus stops.
At each stop we passed dozens of people who were waiting. There was not a bus close behind us for them to grab.
When a passenger wanted to get off, the driver would pull over 100 yards before the bus stops to let passengers off, to ensure none of the anxious riders waiting at their stops for our overcrowded bus would attempt to get on. This is a common occurrence.
Hurting the Hurting Parts of Town
The city’s free Charm City Circulator buses, which run near the waterfront and in a few upscale areas, have been in the news lately over a possible fee charge as well as plans to expand service.
I’m trying to call attention to the severe dysfunction in the part of the city’s transit system that – unlike the Circulator – charges riders money and is supposed to serve the rest of Baltimore.
North Avenue, where the east-west #13 runs, connects some of the poorest parts of Baltimore. It cuts across our city’s midsection like an infected scar, with struggling neighborhoods to the north and south in quite poor shape along nearly the entire length.
There are abandoned houses and storefronts along most of the route I take. Many houses’ roofs are visibly caving in. Some, slightly less dilapidated homes have their boarded up windows and doors stamped with advertisements for the city’s Vacants to Value program.
I know the factors that caused this area of the city to fall into disrepair are numerous and complex. But surely, one factor that adds to this area’s woes is the poor state of the public transportation.
When the bus is late, or overcrowded, I and other riders like me are made late for our jobs, our appointments, our families and our lives.
A late bus is not simply an inconvenience, but a burden on the lives of those who rely on it. It is certainly a reason many lose employment, and it is certainly a reason many decide to leave the city if they can.
Rx for Troubled Route
The troubled bus route damages the quality of life for those with cars as well. It is also a deterrent to invest in the area.
Traveling along North Avenue, one sees crowds of people waiting for the bus. These crowds attract people trying to sell drugs, and are breeding grounds for conflicts and trouble of all sort. I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to me and the people I wait with for the bus attempting to sell narcotics.
Whether waiting for the bus yourself or just driving by, this atmosphere causes people to stay clear of the area.
For my sake, for my fellow passengers sake, for the sake of those who live and work on North Avenue and for the sake of our city – please heed my plea and do whatever is in your power to improve the service of the #13 line.
Making the route safer and more reliable for transit users could have a healing effect that would spread further into the community.
Brian Levy, a legal fellow with the Public Defender’s Office, recently moved with his fiance to the Midtown-Belvedere neighborhood. He says he sent this email to the Maryland Transit Administration; Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; City Councilmen Eric Costello, Nick Mosby and Carl Stokes; Maryland 40th District Delegates Frank M. Conway, Jr., Shawn Tarrant and Barbara Robinson; State Senator Catherine Pugh; U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings; and U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin and Barbara Mikulski.
Everyone involved in this attempt to hand our public transportation to VEOLA knows the history of this French global corporation. It is steeped in racism and labor abuse all over the world. So, when Maggie McIntosh makes it her business in the Maryland Assembly to push these Johns Hopkins transportation policies----she knows where this is going.
THIS IS NOT WHAT ANY DEMOCRAT WOULD DO! STOP ALLOWING THE WORST OF NEO-CONSERVATIVES CONTROL THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY.
There was a photo-op for Maggie McIntosh in the news just this week with Maggie and the Baltimore NAACP and black children all glad about some progressive bone thrown......while the gorilla in the room is killing people of color and everyone else!
Veolia’s long history of racist, anti-worker, union-busting activities
By Gerry Scoppettuolo January 2, 2014
Boston — It seems obvious now. When Thomas Hock, the vice president for labor relations of Veolia Transportation, signed a contract with the Boston Public Schools that brought the company to Boston last June to run the city’s school buses, this racist, union-busting company had one purpose and one purpose only: to destroy the region’s predominantly Black school bus drivers’ union. Local 8751 of the United Steelworkers is the most militant, progressive union in Boston.
Veolia’s lockout of the school bus drivers during a protected labor meeting on Oct. 8 and the subsequent firing of four of 8751’s top leadership in early November totally exposed its racist, anti-union agenda. But, it turns out, this is just the tip of the iceberg, given the company’s long history of anti-labor activity.
So egregious is the anti-worker history of Professional Transit Management — now wholly owned by Veolia — that since 2005 the National Labor Relations Board received 47 complaints against PTM. Moreover, Hock has been involved in negotiations that resulted in seven strikes since 2001.
So wide-ranging is Veolia’s anti-labor record that the Service Employees union and the Amalgamated Transit Union have each published well-documented research on Veolia that captures in great detail the company’s virulent hostility to people who drive buses and their unions.
Several times PTM has been ordered by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to correct its unlawful, racist behavior. For example, in 2007 PTM was ordered to pay $450,000 to six transit workers in Colorado Springs, Colo., for racial discrimination. Nancy A. Weeks, supervisory trial attorney in the EEOC’s Denver field office, which brought the suit, noted: “The egregiousness of the threats and racial and national origin harassment in this case is stunning. We are pleased that the minority employees at Springs Transit have been compensated in some way for the terrible treatment they endured.”
In another case currently before a U.S. District Court of Appeals, Marilyn Shazor, an African-American woman, was employed by Hock and Veolia as chief executive officer of Cincinnati Metro, the bus system of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority. She says she was unlawfully terminated in August 2010, replaced with a white male, and intentionally defamed by PTM and Hock, when they publicized untrue statements about the reason for her termination.
In a discrimination case currently in mediation, the Disability Rights Legal Center filed a lawsuit against Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and its contractor, Veolia Transportation Services Inc., alleging disability discrimination against people who use wheelchairs on fixed-route buses. The lawsuit alleges that the MTA and Veolia consistently failed to comply with long-standing regulations that require bus drivers to ask nondisabled people to move from designated wheelchair locations to allow people requiring such accessibility features to use them.
A pattern of attempted union busting
Hock/Veolia’s union-busting strategy reveals a pattern of bad faith bargaining or refusal to bargain, spying on employees, making coercive statements, and illegally firing or punishing employees for engaging in union activities. Here are a few recent examples.
San Francisco: At the same time they were competing for the Boston school bus contract earlier in 2013, Hock and Veolia received $399,000 for a few months’ work negotiating for Bay Area Rapid Transit against its workers, represented by SEIU 1021 and ATU Local 1555. These negotiations provoked a strike on July 1. After that, Veolia earned thousands of dollars by contracting with BART to shuttle passengers during the strike. This action brought a complaint that Hock/Veolia violated the district government’s conflict of interest policy — “using their position to influence government decisions in which they have a reason to know they have a financial interest.” (keepbartrunning.com, Nov. 20)
Phoenix: In hearings before the National Labor Relations Board in 2012, Veolia was found to have engaged in “regressive, bad-faith, and surface bargaining,” among many unfair labor practices, which forced a strike by Phoenix bus drivers represented by ATU Local 1433. Veolia subsequently agreed to a settlement promising to cease all illegal activities, but continued its illegal conduct. Only after Veolia was threatened with a federally mandated default settlement did the company back down and agree to a deal with its employees, ending the strike.
Las Vegas: Bus drivers accused Veolia of retaliation and firings of union employees and of refusing to furnish its existing union, ATU Local 1637, with information needed to conduct negotiations. Again, federal authorities intervened. The NLRB ordered Veolia “to cease and desist from refusing to bargain collectively” and to stop “interfering with, restraining or coercing its employees in the exercise of their right to self-organization.” (East Bay Express, July 10, 2013)
Pensacola Fla.: In October 2011 after refusing to bargain in good faith, Veolia hired 200 scab workers to try to replace union bus drivers who struck for one day. ATU Local 1395 filed numerous charges against Veolia with the NLRB, and the community organized a coalition that included the NAACP, Rainbow Coalition, Occupy Pensacola, churches, riders and disabled groups that forced the county to terminate its contract with Veolia.
Pensacola is not the only city to dump Veolia after community pressure. City governments have terminated contracts with Veolia in Grand Rapids, Mich.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Rockland, Mass.; San Diego, Calif.; St. Louis; and Paris, its hometown, as well as several other cities in France. (Labor Notes, December 2012)
In Maryland the move to end Disability transportation and ADA requirements is in full swing with Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons. Corporatization has routes changed to whatever is most profitable regardless of the community needs. The mission for corporations is to dissuade any consumer that makes costs go higher and as such employees are told to make things more difficult for people----not to provide them with the Constitutional rights they have as citizens.
Do not allow these Clinton neo-liberals to take us back to when people with disabilities stayed at home and depended on rare opportunities to engage in community activities. THAT IS TO WHERE THESE POLICIES ARE GOING.
No one uses disability transportation like the veterans and while the VA is being outsourced with money lost to misappropriation and fraud----the loss of public transit disability transportation is yet another attack on veteran's benefits.
Veterans Transportation Service
Overview of VTS Program
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Healthcare System provides primary care, specialized care, and related medical and social support to serve America’s Veterans’ health and wellness needs. To do this, VHA needs to be a comprehensive, integrated healthcare system providing excellence in health care value, excellence in service as defined by its customers, and excellence in education and research. To enhance the VHA system, the Central Business Office (CBO) is launching a new transportation program for immobilized and remote VA patients to enhance existing programs implemented by local VA Medical Centers (VAMCs). Veterans Transportation Service (VTS) seeks to provide transportation services to include vehicle routing/scheduling software for VA Medical Facilities. The ride scheduling and routing systems will include GPS modules for VTS vehicles.
VA especially recognizes the problems Veterans who are visually impaired, elderly, or immobilized due to disease or disability, particularly those living in remote and rural areas, face in traveling to access VA health care. To work toward providing these Veterans with the most convenient and timely access to transportation services, VA’s vision is to explore the establishment of a network of community transportation service providers that could include Veteran Service Organizations (VSO’s); community and commercial transportation providers; federal, state and local government transportation services as well as non-profits, such as United We Ride, operating within each VISN or even local facility.
This initiative will not replace current activities, but will rather supplement existing benefits and programs to improve access to VA health care.
This program is currently enabled at forty-five sites, and will be implemented at remaining locations by 2015. If VTS is currently available in your location you may get more information on scheduling a ride by clicking a link to left. Information will be updated as new locations come on board.