Thanks to Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) students and parents who planned ahead and the hard work and dedication of Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) employees, back-to-school was a huge success for thousands of area students this year on the new BaltimoreLink system.
BaltimoreLink, which launched June 18, is Governor Larry Hogan’s transformative plan that redesigned the entire local and express bus systems with 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and other transit modes while improving service quality and reliability. MDOT MTA staff spearheaded numerous community outreach events to inform and educate the public about changes to the bus network.
“As one of 150 transit ambassadors staged at major bus stops and transfer hubs throughout the city on the first two days of school – September 5 and September 6 – I saw firsthand how well-prepared students were on riding the new BaltimoreLink system to get to and from school,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Kevin Quinn, who assisted students at a busy bus stop at St. Paul and Fayette streets. “The fact that things ran so smoothly is a testament to our employees who participated in hundreds of events around the city over the past few months to spread the word of the route changes, and BCPS students, parents and school officials taking our advice to plan ahead.
“By the first day of school, most students already had their bus routes mapped on their smartphones,” Quinn added. “Students knew where they had to go and how to get there. My team and I were very impressed.”
Many students learned their routes to and from school by visiting the baltimorelink.com and mta.maryland.gov websites and by using the Google Maps and Transit apps. MDOT MTA also sent postcards to the home of every BCPS student and distributed a Student Rider Guide – the first of its kind – that outlined each bus route that would get students to their respective schools.
Outside of some complaints of overcrowding on more heavily traveled bus lines, few cases of transit-related problems have been reported since the start of the new school year.
About 27,000 BCPS students rely on MDOT MTA transit services daily. To help transport these students, MDOT MTA provides supplemental service (additional trips from the standard bus routes) during the school year.
MDOT MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MDOT MTA operates LocalLink and commuter buses, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service and a comprehensive Mobility (paratransit) system. MDOT MTA also manages the Call-a-Ride system and directs funding and statewide assistance to Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City. MDOT is a customer-driven leader that delivers safe, sustainable, intelligent and exceptional transportation solutions in order to connect our customers to life’s opportunities. MDOT MTA’s goal is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. To learn more, visit mdot.maryland.gov or mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.