MDOT MTA Enhances Customer Experience with Improved Reliability
and Reduced Travel Time
BALTIMORE, MD (November 1, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) is launching seven miles of new dedicated bus lanes with transit signal priority (TSP) to improve bus travel times and reliability along North Avenue in Baltimore as part of the North Avenue Rising revitalization project. Dedicated bus lanes and transit signal priority for buses were first installed in Baltimore in 2017 as part of BaltimoreLink and have proven successful in improving on-time performance and reducing travel times by up to 25% for bus riders. With the addition of these new lane miles, there are now nearly 13 miles of dedicated bus lanes throughout the MDOT MTA service area.
“Dedicated bus lanes have improved our system’s reliability,” said MDOT MTA Acting Administrator Holly Arnold. “We anticipate these new lanes along the busy North Avenue corridor will help us to continue improving transit in Baltimore, while also making the transportation system along North Avenue more equitable.”
“Additional dedicated bus lane miles along North Avenue will improve on-time performance and customer service, resulting in a transit experience that’s more convenient, reliable and attractive to riders,” said MDOT Secretary Greg Slater. “This project is part of MDOT’s commitment to modernize our network, provide high-quality service and prioritize transit as we work with our partners in the city to improve mobility for all users.”
Only buses, emergency vehicles, school buses and bicycles are permitted to travel in the bus only lanes. Other vehicles are permitted to enter a bus lane in order to make a right turn at the next intersection or to access parallel parking spots next to the bus lane. To make the lanes clear to the public, the full-time dedicated bus lanes are painted red and have the words “BUS ONLY” in the road and have signs on the curb about the bus lane. Baltimore City Transportation Enforcement Officers, the Baltimore Police Department, and MDOT MTA Police handle violation enforcement. Parking or stopping in a bus lane may result in a $250 fine, and driving in the bus lane may result in a fine up to $500.
In addition to dedicated bus lanes, the $27.3 million North Avenue Rising project has made improvements throughout the corridor since 2017. These include enhancements to the Penn-North Metro SubwayLink station, safety and rider-comfort improvements at major bus stops and sidewalks, bike facilities, streetscaping and roadway repaving. Last month, a new mural highlighting the history and culture of the Penn-North community was completed for the Penn-North Metro SubwayLink station by Baltimore artist Megan Lewis.
The North Avenue Rising revitalization project is a joint initiative between Baltimore City and MDOT, with state, local and federal funding including: $14.7 million from MDOT, $1 million from the Baltimore City Department of Transportation, $10 million from a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant and $1.6 million from USDOT Federal Highway Administration. The project’s construction completion date has been extended to June 30, 2022 and additional transportation investments will be made along North Avenue over the next eight months.
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, 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. 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 https://www.mta.maryland.gov or check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland, YouTube.com/TheMTAMaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.
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