The NAACP has filed a federal complaint against Gov. Larry Hogan for cancelling the proposed Red Line rail project, which would have connected the east and west sides of Baltimore.
In the complaint, the NAACP and other civil rights groups say the proposed rail system would have connected the predominately African-American communities of east and west Baltimore, giving residents access to jobs and other opportunities.
Hogan canceled the $3 billion plan this summer, claiming the state couldn't afford it. He then rerouted funds already received for the Red Line into highway and transportation projects outside of the city.
According to the complaint filed Tuesday, this act directly impacts African-American residents and violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which "prohibits state agencies that engage in discrimination from receiving federal funds," as stated in the complaint.
"Shifting resources from public transit in Baltimore to highways and bridges outside of the city has a discriminatory impact on African-American residents.” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President & Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “Baltimore residents rely on public transportation to travel to work and school. The Governor has not offered an appropriate alternative to ease public transit woes in Baltimore.”
Two months ago, Gov. Hogan introduced his Red Line replacement plan, known as Baltimore Link. He says this new plan will revamp Baltimore's bus and train system with new routes and new technology, costing $135 million.
The NAACP's complaint urges the Department of Transportation to investigate the state’s decision to cancel the Red Line as a violation of federal law.