Btec nation

BTEC’s first major initiative was to submit a Title VI administrative complaint to the US Department of Transportation on the grounds that the decision to cancel the Red Line violated the federal government’s anti-discrimination laws established by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

SEe Title VI Complaint

The Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition is a resolute, community-led group. Our mission is to supplant structural racism in public transit policy with structural change, to attain equitable, reliable transit and greater environmental, social and economic justice for the Baltimore region. Our anti-racist work was born out of Governor Hogan’s decision to cancel the Red Line project in 2015. That decision – a quintessential example of structural racism in the region – spurred many of the original Red Line planning committee members to action. Shortly after the governor canceled the project, these members gathered with others in the community to form our coalition.

BTEC’s first major initiative was to submit a Title VI administrative complaint to the US Department of Transportation on the grounds that the decision violated the federal government’s anti-discrimination laws established by the 1964 Civil Rights Act. When that complaint was summarily dismissed by the Trump administration in 2016 (without comment), we continued to seek other avenues to develop equitable transit in the region.

Over the years we have sought to educate the general public about the importance of transit equity. We publish articles routinely in local media. We regularly attend local panel discussions on transportation issues in the region.We also host a speaker series where experts in transportation policy and equity are invited to speak.


We’ve been a critical voice in developing local legislation to improve public transportation in the region. We supported the Transportation Safety and Investment Act, which passed in 2021, despite Governor Hogan’s veto. We also lobby for the Transportation Equity Act of 2022, which, if passed, will require Maryland transportation policy and projects abide by anti-discrimination law.

We have come to understand that the biggest challenge we face in developing equitable transit is our state’s own governance structure.

While transportation systems in most other major cities tend to be run by local or regional governance, in Maryland, the state runs everything and is not required to seek any input from local or regional municipalities. 

In an effort to correct this, starting in 2019, BTEC embarked on a ballot initiative to revive the Red Line project through a Baltimore Regional Transportation Authority (BRTA). Our proposed BRTA is a regional governance structure that would allow transit riders to have a say in the transit they use. Over the next 2-3 years, a BRTA commission would work to revive the Red Line project and develop more robust, multi-modal transit in the region.


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What We Are Working On

BRTA Now Petition

The Baltimore Transit Equity Coaltion (BTEC) is engaged in a petition campaign to adopt an amendment to the Baltimore City Charter that will allow for the creation of a Baltimore Regional Transportation Authority. Our goal is to collect 20,000 petitions to submit to the Board of Elections in 2024.

build the red line

The Red Line light Rail was an east-west rail line that was under development in Baltimore between 2001 and 2015. It was scheduled to be completed in 2022.  The Redline is the most immediate and effective way to improve transportation in the Baltimore region. 

legislation focus

The Transportation Equity Act requires prior analysis of any service changes or project developments to Maryland’s roadways, sea port, airport, and bus or rail system. With the help of BTEC, this legislation was signed into law by the Governor of Maryland in May 2023.








What We Have Done


Transportation Equity Act (TEA)


BTEC initiated the pursuit of a Transportation Equity Act in three (3) sessions of the Maryland General Assembly before achieving passage in the 2023 session, and signed by Gov. Moore in May.


historic Cty Wide transit equity analysis


BTEC co-authored with Dr. Megan Latshaw at JHU Bloomberg to produce Baltimore’s historic first city-wide transit equity analysis.

This study identified precisely the communities most in need of investments in abatement of harmful pollutant emissions and their adverse health impacts. 


2022 Ballot access campaign


BTEC submitted 14,900 signatures in a ballot access campaign in August 2022 in its pioneering advocacy for the creation of a Baltimore Regional Transportation Authority (BRTA), and continues the campaign in order to collect a sufficient number of signatures to meet the 10,000 valid signature requirement.

opponent in anne arundel threatened light rail closure


BTEC was the most active opponent to the threatened closure of an all light rail service in Anne Arundel County in 2018 due to a false claim by then County Executive Steve Schuh that a “new wave” of criminals, drug addicts, and houseless persons “from Baltimore” had invaded the county. 

BTEC secured Governor Hogan’s pledge not to permit the halt in service with letters signed by major organizations in the Baltimore region including the Greater Baltimore Committee.


responded to a melee at white marsh mall


BTEC responded to a melee at White Marsh Mall involving 37 youth and 2 (two) adults by (i) Meeting with owners of White Marsh Mall to propose a Youth Ambassador Program in which youth would be chosen to help prevent tensions among youth visitors at the mall. 

In addition, BTEC testified at the Baltimore County Council and won an agreement to permit the private ownership of the mall to handle security at the mall without further intervention by the police and the Council.


Transit Equity Soladarity Day


BTEC has conducted three (3) Baltimore Transit Equity Solidarity Day celebrations emphasizing solidarity among the premier stakeholders in public transit: transit workers, transit riders. 

The Solidarity Day celebrations have also introduced the story of Ms. Claudette Colvin, the youthful spark for the Montgomery Bus Boycott to a wider audience many of whose members were unaware of Ms. Colvin’s exceptional contribution to the struggle for transit equity and racial justice.



submitted brta proposals


BTEC has submitted proposals to the Baltimore and Anne Arundel Counties to support the creation of a BRTA.  The proposals will be submitted again in the July session.


Ballot access Petition campaign


BTEC has initiated another ballot access petition campaign to be submitted to the Baltimore City Board of Elections in election year 2024, with the goal to secure 20,000 signed petitions.


baltimore link city-wide conference at high school


BTEC held the only city-wide conference  at Douglass High School for school youth and school families to be tutored by Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) in the new routes and services on the Baltimore Link. 

Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) refused to activate their school alert robocall systems.  BCPS decided not to co-sponsor.


zero fare in city of annapolis


With County transit activists and three (3) Members of  the County Council, BTEC was a leader in the campaign for Zero-Fares in all public transit in the City of Annapolis.

BTEC Nation

“Ona move”