The Secretary’s Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 3, 2017
Erin Henson - 410-865-1025
Plan Delivers on Promise to Create a Unified Transit Network, Transit Teams Reaching Out to Transit Riders to Spread the Word
HANOVER, MD – With Governor Larry Hogan’s BaltimoreLink transit plan starting service on Sunday, June 18, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is kicking off a public awareness campaign throughout the Baltimore region today. MTA is taking steps to ensure transit riders are fully aware of the upcoming changes by dispatching “transit teams” who will provide riders with the most up-to-date information.
“This transformative plan is another great example of our long-term commitment to the future of the Baltimore region by providing an innovative transit network to better connect Marylanders to jobs, education, and health care,” said Governor Hogan.
“This plan delivers better service to existing riders and more frequent and expanded transit access to many underserved communities,” said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.
“We are pleased to partner with the Hogan Administration to deliver BaltimoreLink with dedicated bus lanes and transit signal prioritization at key intersections to unlock the transit network’s potential for the Baltimore region,” said Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh. “This transformative BaltimoreLink system will support and energize the great revitalization and urban development projects we have underway in every corner of our great city!”
“Starting this week, our MTA team will be on board buses and in communities throughout our service area to talk with our customers about BaltimoreLink and answer any questions they may have,” said MTA Administrator and CEO Paul Comfort. “We want to ensure that our riders know what to expect as a result of BaltimoreLink improvements.”
Key features of this round of public education include:
- BaltimoreLink Info Bus: MTA will deploy the BaltimoreLink Info Bus on all current MTA routes and pick up riders for free. On board the bus, route experts will talk with passengers about how the new BaltimoreLink system will affect their trip, improve their commute to work, and enable them to reach places they need to go for shopping, community resources, medical services, and many other local amenities.
- BaltimoreLink Ambassadors: MTA transit teams will be available at important bus stops, on board select bus routes, and at key transit centers to answer questions and promote awareness of the service changes.
- Community Travel Training: MTA will partner with the Center for Mobility Equity to provide comprehensive training for senior riders, persons with disabilities, and students on how to use the new BaltimoreLink system safely and independently.
BaltimoreLink is the multi-phase plan to create an interconnected transit system by redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout Baltimore and adds 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes (called CityLink) that improve connections to jobs and to MARC Train, Metro Subway and Light Rail. BaltimoreLink transforms Baltimore’s half-a-century-old and outdated transit network with implementation of bus-only dedicated lanes, installation of transit signal priority, construction of a transfer hub network, 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. New Express BusLink launched its suburb-to-suburb service in June 2016. As promised, expanded and new Commuter Bus service has seen launches in the summer and fall of 2016 and two more routes that launched in March providing commuter service between Kent Island/Annapolis and Baltimore.
Since BaltimoreLink was introduced on October 22, 2015, the plan has undergone three successive updates based on feedback from the public, bus drivers and an intensive transit service analysis. At more than 200 public meetings during two outreach phases and a formal public hearing, the MTA collected 4,400 comments with 1,100 comments from MTA operators and 3,300 comments from the public through stakeholder meetings, pop-up events, community workshops, digital comment forms and an online crowdsourcing website.
The BaltimoreLink website provides critical online resources to learn more about the new system, including a digital trip planner and route comparison maps. For more information about BaltimoreLink and the upcoming public education outreach efforts, visit baltimorelink.com.
MDOT’s MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MTA operates Local and Commuter buses, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service, and a comprehensive Paratransit (Mobility) system. MTA also manages the Taxi Access 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. 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.
What People Are Saying About BaltimoreLink
Veronica Gee, MTA Bus Operator and Union Instructor
"It keeps the service efficient and on-time. It’s (about) allowing us to get through the city and keeping our customers happy."
Julian E. Jones, Jr., Baltimore County Councilman
“The BaltimoreLink plan is a significant improvement because it looks at the region as a whole and emphasizes the importance of getting people to where the jobs are,” said Baltimore County Councilman Julian E. Jones, Jr. “Express BusLink, in particular, makes it easier than ever to take transit to get directly to many employment centers in Baltimore County, I look forward to a bright new future for transit in the Baltimore region under this plan."
Robbyn T. Lewis, Maryland State Delegate
“I love city life and I love Baltimore. Not only that, I'm also car-free by choice! This means that I value having options about how to get around. Sometimes I bike, or use ride-share, but other times I choose to get around using mass transit. I'm enthusiastic about BaltimoreLink. It promises to be a quality option for moving more quickly and enjoyably around our city. See you on the bus!”
Dr. Gordon F. May, President/CEO, Baltimore City Community College
“With 70 years of Changing Lives and Building Communities, we are excited for the launch of BaltimoreLink and its high-frequency service to our Liberty Heights Campus. BaltimoreLink’s 24-hour high-frequency CityLink service will provide our current and future students to the educational and training opportunities that Baltimore City Community College has to offer.”
Jimmy Rouse, Founding Member of Transit Choices
“We are very hopeful that the BaltimoreLink Plan will make a significant change in the lives of the citizens of Baltimore, better connecting them to jobs, educational opportunities, healthcare and even healthy food. We have been extremely impressed by the team of planners at the MTA and the energy and intelligence they have put into the planning process. It has been a pleasure to collaborate with them toward a shared vision to transform and improve transit throughout our city.”
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