BALTIMORE, MD (August 25, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) has announced the launch of CharmFlex, a new discounted fare option to accommodate Marylanders returning to onsite work in more flexible or hybrid work schedules. CharmFlex three- and 10-day passes are available only on the CharmPass mobile fare payment app and can be used on Local Bus, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Commuter Bus and MARC Train beginning Monday, August 30.
“As Maryland’s economy continues to recover and riders return to transit, we’re excited to offer new fare options that address the needs of our riders,” said MDOT MTA Acting Administrator Holly Arnold. “CharmFlex provides the best value for riders traveling only a few times a week or on non-consecutive days.”
Using CharmFlex fares, riders will pay about 15% less compared to the cost of a day-pass or single-trip fare. Based on current fares for Core Service, the three-day pass will cost $11.20 and the 10-day pass will be $37.40. Since MARC and Commuter Bus fares are calculated by zone, fares will vary based on zones traveled. To provide more flexibility, the three- and 10-day passes (offering six and 20 one-way fares for MARC Train and Commuter Bus) can be used on consecutive or non-consecutive days and are valid for up to 12 months after the date of purchase.
The new fare options were included as part of MDOT MTA’s Fall 2021 Service Change proposal and are being implemented after a series of public hearings and a 30-day public review and comment period. To download the free CharmPass app and learn more about the new fare passes, riders can visit mta.maryland.gov/charmpass or contact the Transit Information Contact Center at 410-539-5000.
MDOT MTA previously announced resumption of full service for MARC Train and Commuter Bus, effective August 30, as well as Local Bus improvements beginning August 29 that include a new Express BusLink route between West Baltimore and Tradepoint Atlantic and elimination of a surcharge for Express Bus riders.
While still down significantly compared to pre-pandemic levels, transit ridership has begun to return. For the second quarter of 2021 – April, May and June – ridership across all MDOT MTA services was up 20% compared to the same period in 2020. Core Bus ridership is now down 40% compared to pre-pandemic figures after being down about 50% in 2020; MARC ridership is currently down about 80% compared to pre-pandemic levels – an improvement from when it was down 90% in August 2020.
MDOT MTA is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MDOT MTA operates systems that include Local Bus, Commuter Bus, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, MARC Train Service and a comprehensive Mobility paratransit network. MDOT MTA’s goal 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 mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.