BALTIMORE, MD (JUNE 18, 2017) – The wait is finally over as the Hogan Administration today officially launched the BaltimoreLink system with the new CityLink and LocalLink running throughout the Baltimore region for the first time ever. Buses – wrapped in State of Maryland colors of black, gold, red and white – hit the streets around 3 a.m.
With a major overhaul of Baltimore's antiquated transit system, Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) officials are urging new riders to get out of their cars and give transit a try. Both transit veterans and new transit riders will experience how BaltimoreLink now provides great connections to Amtrak, Commuter Bus, Light RailLink, MARC Train, Metro SubwayLink and other services in Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs.
And, for the next two weeks until June 30, customers ride free on CityLink, LocalLink, Express BusLink, Light RailLink and Metro SubwayLink.
"Just 19 months ago, our administration promised to fix Baltimore's broken transit system, and today we are delivering on that promise," said Governor Larry Hogan. "This comprehensive plan signifies the state's long-term commitment to the future of Baltimore City by providing a more reliable transit experience that better connects people to the places they need to go. With the launch of BaltimoreLink, city residents and those in surrounding jurisdictions finally can travel conveniently, efficiently and affordably from where they live to where they work."
BaltimoreLink redesigns the entire local and express bus systems and adds 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and other transit modes. The first LocalLink Bus #94 rolled out from MDOT MTA's Bush Division at 3:11 a.m. today. By 3 p.m., which is the peak of today's service, a total of 216 CityLink and LocalLink buses will be on the streets serving customers and getting them to places they need and want to go.
"Rolling out BaltimoreLink is very exciting as we see the real-time transformation of transit into a true network that connects the entire Baltimore region to life's opportunities," said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn. "The transportation improvements linked to this project will help jumpstart economic growth for key areas of the Baltimore region."
As BaltimoreLink launches its new service, MDOT and MDOT MTA officials from communications, operations, planning, safety and the MDOT MTA Police Force will closely monitor all service over the coming days and weeks and deploy members of the rapid response team to address any issues.
Transit ambassadors will continue to be at key bus stops, on board select bus routes and at various transit centers to answer questions and promote awareness of the service changes.
In Baltimore City, new CityLink routes will run every 10 to 15 minutes during peak periods. The new CityLink buses will be specially branded and travel on color-coded routes with easy-to-read signage and detailed maps that will make the system easier to use. The new LocalLink bus routes operate on neighborhood streets.
"The new BaltimoreLink services will link people to opportunities around the Baltimore area," said MDOT MTA Acting Administrator Kevin Quinn. "If you haven't ridden transit lately, I encourage you to give it another try. BaltimoreLink provides better access to jobs, retail, healthcare and entertainment than ever before."
Other benefits of BaltimoreLink for transit riders include dedicated bus lanes to provide efficient, high-speed travel through downtown Baltimore; transit signal priority to increase reliability and speed of the buses by holding green lights longer or shortening red lights; transit hubs to improve transit connectivity; rebranding and replacement of more than 5,000 transit signs; expanded commuter bus service; new shared bicycle availability; access to car-sharing options and more.
About MDOT MTA
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 MobilityLink (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.