Miss a deadline in college - lose a few points off your grade
Miss a deadline in the real world - lose $2 million in FTA funding
This is why deadlines are important people! The MTA missed a crucial deadline for earmarks adding up to $2 million for design and engineering program for the Red Line. Consequence? Bye-bye money. The Gov't giveth and the Gov't taketh away.
Now, in all fairness the FTA didn't make it very easy to file the necessary paperwork, but if the MTA knew it was difficult, they should have worked harder. Especially if it is central to the planning and implementation of a major piece of transit!
The Baltimore Examiner goes into a little more detail about it, which is worth taking a good look at it. I liked the Bush Bashing at the end.