FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Service Adjustments Effective Monday, April 6
BALTIMORE, MD (April 2, 2020) – Beginning Monday, April 6, in order to more efficiently deploy resources to core bus service, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) is temporarily discontinuing 11 routes that recently experienced an average of 82% decline in ridership. These routes include all nine peak-hour Express BusLink routes and LocalLinks 38 and 92, which primarily serve schools that are now closed. See alternative route options listed below. This strategic modification ensures MDOT MTA is operating lifeline service for essential travel only during the COVID-19 emergency to protect employees, customers and the community. MDOT MTA has been coordinating closely with hospitals to ensure these vital transit connections are provided.
“MDOT MTA is working hard to ensure essential workers can get where they need to go and citizens have access to essential supplies,” said MDOT MTA Administrator Kevin Quinn. “Every day, MDOT MTA operators transport thousands of people across the Baltimore region. These unsung heroes play a critical role in Maryland’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Please take a minute to thank your transit operator the next time you ride.”
Employers, bus operators and essential bus riders can all do their part to promote social distancing. MDOT MTA encourages everyone to promote social distancing:
- Employers at essential businesses or healthcare facilities are encouraged to stagger shift times so workers aren’t arriving and leaving work at the same time.
- Bus operators have been given discretion to limit the number of people on the buses to maintain social distancing.
- Bus operators may pass bus stops to limit the number of riders on a bus.
- Essential workers should leave more time to get to work and choose to wait for the next bus with fewer riders.
In mid-March, MDOT MTA instituted rear boarding on all buses in an effort to protect operators and encourage social distancing. In another effort to protect MDOT MTA frontline team members, MDOT MTA has added 12 buses at the four bus divisions to be used as breakrooms so operators can practice social distancing.
On March 17, MDOT MTA implemented its first temporary service modifications, affecting schedule adjustments on Light Rail, Metro Subway, Commuter Bus and MARC Train, in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and to match service levels with a reduced demand. The April 6 bus service adjustment is another important step in aligning service with current demand levels. During the week of March 23, overall bus ridership decreased by an average of 55% and ridership on the 11 routes being temporarily discontinued decreased by an average of 82%.
Many of the Express BusLink routes duplicate existing LocalLink service and we encourage riders to evaluate other route options at mta.maryland.gov/trip-planner. Riders needing assistance with trip planning can contact the Transit Information Contact Center from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday at 410-539-5000. Some alternate routes to consider are listed below:
· Express BusLink 103 - LocalLink 53, CityLink Green
· Express BusLink 104 - CityLink Green
· Express BusLink 105 - CityLink Pink
· Express BusLink 115 - CityLink Brown
· Express BusLink 120 - LocalLink 56, CityLink Brown
· Express BusLink 150 - Commuter Bus 310, MARC Train
· Express BusLink 154 - LocalLink 54
· Express BusLink 160 - LocalLink 59, CityLink Orange
· Express BusLink 164 - LocalLink 67
· LocalLink 38 - LocalLink 94, CityLink Blue
· LocalLink 92 - LocalLink 34, 89 MDOT MTA reminds riders to limit the use of the system during the COVID-19 emergency to essential travel only – trips to essential work sites, hospitals, healthcare providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, food distribution centers, the homes of family members who need care, and similar destinations. Riders are encouraged to review Governor Larry Hogan’s Stay-at-Home order to answer any questions about what is essential travel.
“By staying home, you're helping limit the spread of COVID-19 and keeping others safe, including our transit colleagues, who are making essential travel possible,” said Administrator Quinn.
MDOT MTA will continue to evaluate operations and ridership data to determine whether additional temporary service adjustments are needed. A complete list of service modifications and other steps MDOT MTA is taking to protect our riders and operators, and to maximize efficiency, is available at www.mta.maryland.gov/coronavirus.
MDOT MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MDOT MTA operates a Local Bus and Commuter Bus network, as well as Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, MARC Train service and a comprehensive Mobility paratransit system. 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.