TAM is supporting and monitoring several pieces of legislation that we have identified as affecting our members in important ways. Here's a brief rundown on three pieces of legislation we are supporting this year:

SB 91 - ASSAULT ON A PUBLIC TRANSIT OPERATOR - SUPPORT

Senate Bill 91 accomplishes a major policy goal of our association - recognizing the importance and risks of our transit operators by treating assault against them the same way we treat assault against other public servants such as police, fire fighters, and paramedics. SB 91 came up for a hearing in the senate on 1/20/21 - you can read more in the Maryland Matters article here.

See TAM's letter of support for SB 91 Here

See a Sample Letter of Support you can send to your district's representatives here

HB 531 - Maryland Non–Emergency Medical Transportation Fund - SUPPORT

House Bill 531 would establish a permanent funding source for dialysis transportation in Maryland, making us the first state in the union to require for-profit dialysis centers to contribute to the cost of the transportation services our members provide. This bill would also establish a task force to study the issue of NEMT funding and make recommendations for future funding levels.

SB 32 - Maryland Transit Administration Limitation of Liability - SUPPORT

Senate Bill 32 would reduce the MTA's tort liability exposure to $800,000 per claimant (currently unlimited). This bill would reduce MTA's insurance costs and make it easier for our members and other small businesses that contract with MTA to do business and bid on MDOT MTA contracts.

2021 Legislative Priorities

The Transportation Association of Maryland (TAM) has identified three priority issues that we will support during the 2021 session of the Maryland General Assembly.

  1. NON-EMERGENCY MEDICAL TRANSPORTATION REFORM: Non-emergency medical transportation, especially dialysis transportation, has become a critical issue for community transportation in Maryland. Massively increased demand has resulted in a struggle to maintain services and expand to meet demand elsewhere. TAM will be legislation in 2021 to recommend and create a system in which medical providers can contribute to the cost of transporting patients as well as a report on the status of NEMT transit in Maryland.

  2. DRIVER ASSAULT PROTECTION: Driver assault is a growing problem for many transit agencies. Transit operators lack the special protection extended to other public servants, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, and responders. TAM understands that transit worker assaults are not only a danger to workers, but to the riding public, who are also placed in harm’s way when such incidents occur. We support enhanced penalties to deter attacks against transit drivers.

  3. FUNDING FORMULA: State funding for Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) have been relatively flat for more than 10 years. Consequently, without the means to account for even modest inflation rates, our members are being fiscally constrained in their ability to maintain the status quo in terms of service delivery. This dynamic is coupled with a well documented increased demand for services from the elderly and disabled community. Without additional funding, many current services will be reduced or eliminated in some cases. One way to alleviate the funding shortfall would be to increase the funding allocation used by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) to support their American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Statewide Specialized Transportation Assistance Programs (SSTAP), and other related formula-based grant funding programs.

Other Legislative Information