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West Baltimore MARC Station bench
A bus stop bench sits in front of a line of empty rowhouses near the intersection of North Pulaski and West Franklin streets in West Baltimore. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Red Line makes Baltimore ‘smart, sophisticated city’

According to Don Fry, if the $2.9 billion Red Line light rail is built, Baltimore may be able to trade in its can of Natty Boh for a flute of Dom Perignon.

Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said during a press conference about Baltimore’s commitment to contribute $230 million to the project, that building a better transit system will improve Charm City’s standing.

“An integrated transit system will identify Baltimore as a smart, sophisticated city,” Fry said. “It puts us in a position along with cities like Boston, Portland and Seattle where transit has reshaped and reinvigorated their local economy.”

Fry also portrayed the Red Line as a link to jobs because about 97,000 residents will live within a half-mile of a station, and more than 180,000 jobs – 68 percent of the employment in Baltimore – are located within the radius. He also said that by 2030 there will be 210,000 jobs located within a half-mile of a Red Line station.

“The Red Line is really a jobs line,” Fry said.