Transit Ridership Projected to Return as COVID-19 Recovery Continues

BALTIMORE, MD (April 16, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) today proposed strategic service adjustments to select Local Bus routes to match service with ridership demand as Maryland's economy continues to reopen and residents return to pre-pandemic commute and travel patterns. The proposal, which includes service improvements to job centers at Tradepoint Atlantic, is part of MDOT MTA’s commitment to prioritize equitable access to transit service while improving reliability. The changes are proposed to go into effect Sunday, August 29, 2021, after series of public hearings and a 30-day public review and comment period.

As part of the proposal, MDOT MTA is also seeking to eliminate an existing 60-cent fare surcharge for Express BusLink service and add two new fare options for customers. New three-day and 10-day fare passes would help accommodate riders’ flexible commute and travel patterns and would be available for Local Bus, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Commuter Bus and MARC Train.

"MDOT MTA strives daily to identify new and better ways to connect our riders with jobs and services they reply on," said Kevin Quinn, MDOT MTA Administrator. "We're confident the proposed service changes and fare options will help us attain that goal while improving the customer experience."

A summary of the proposed Local Bus changes follows:

Service Enhancements
  • LocalLink 63 & Express BusLink 163:
    • The proposal would split LocalLink 63 into two routes to improve access and decrease travel times to Tradepoint Atlantic. Riders traveling from key areas to Tradepoint Atlantic could save up to 19 minutes per trip.
    • Realigning and extending LocalLink 63 will provide new branch service to Gardenville and discontinue service between downtown Baltimore and Johns Hopkins Bayview. Three route options are being proposed.
    • Adding an Express BusLink 163 route will provide fast, direct service from West Baltimore MARC to Tradepoint Atlantic. Two route options are proposed.
  • LocalLink 93:
    • The proposal would realign service in Cockeysville from the Warren Road area to York Road to improve access to essential jobs and retail businesses, including the Super Walmart and Home Depot.
Discontinued Routes
  • Express BusLink 164:
    • The proposal would discontinue this route due to low pre-pandemic ridership. LocalLink 67 provides riders with an alternate service option; service to Riviera Beach would not have an alternative option.
  • Pilot service to Relay - CityLink Yellow:
    • The proposal would discontinue pilot service to Relay due to low ridership before and during the COVID-19 emergency. No other changes to CityLink Yellow are proposed.
Express BusLink Routes
  • Service on all Express BusLink routes, except Express BusLink 164, would resume August 29.
  • To prioritize equity in our fare structure and to encourage riders to return to transit, the current 60-cent fare upcharge for Express BusLink service is proposed to be discontinued and Express BusLink fares will align with Local Bus fares.
New Fare Products
  • 3-day / 10-day fare pass:
    • Two new fare products are proposed for Local Bus, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Commuter Bus and MARC Train, and would match riders commute and travel patterns.
    • The 3-day and 10-day passes would be available through the CharmPass app, could be used on consecutive or non-consecutive days and would be valid for up to 12 months after the date of purchase.
    • The new fare products will be discounted approximately 15% from a single day pass. Based on current fares for Core Service, the three-day pass will be $11.20 and the 10-day pass will be $37.40.

"The proposed MDOT MTA adjustments focus on service reliability and strong access to employment centers that are growing jobs and fueling Maryland’s economic recovery," said MDOT Secretary Greg Slater. "Other changes, such as eliminating the Express BusLink surcharge and creation of three- and 10-day passes, will make ridership more convenient and accessible for all Marylanders."

MDOT MTA will hold four virtual public hearings on the proposed changes between Saturday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 25, and will accept public comments through June 25, 2021. Riders and others can visit for dates, times and information about how to participate in a public hearing. The website also includes the complete list of proposed service modifications and information on the various ways to submit a comment. The service change proposal will also be available in the lobby of MDOT MTA headquarters at 6 St. Paul St., Baltimore, MD. Riders needing additional information can call the Transit Information Contact Center at 410-539-5000.

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 mission is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. As a participating agency in APTA’s Health and Safety Commitment Program, MDOT MTA is dedicated to keeping our employees and passengers safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more, visit or, check us out on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.

Media Contacts
Brittany Marshall
Office: 410-767-8367
Cell: 443-970-0424

Paul Shepard
Office: 410-767-3935
Cell: 443-622-4181

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