BALTIMORE, MD (April 13, 2022) –As transit ridership in the Baltimore region continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) today proposed Fall 2022 Service Modifications to match local bus service levels with ridership demands and travel patterns. While average weekly ridership from January to mid-March has increased 28%, overall current MDOT MTA local bus ridership is at 70% of 2019 levels. MDOT MTA is seeking public comment on the proposed fall service changes that reflect MDOT MTA’s commitment to prioritizing equity, improving reliability, and expanding access.
“Our agency is focused on building stronger connections with and for our riders, especially as service demands increase”, said MDOT MTA Administrator Holly Arnold. “The proposed changes, including our new limited-stop service, are designed to deliver safe, reliable and flexible transit service options the region needs.”
The service proposal includes a new, limited-stop pilot bus service that provides improved travel times from East to West Baltimore. Beginning at the North Bend Loop in Westgate, the QuickLink 40 proposed route will make connections at West Baltimore MARC station, Lexington Market, Baltimore Arena, Johns Hopkins Bayview and end at the Essex Park and Ride. The proposed route will provide passengers with more options for a one-seat ride, reducing transfers between the CityLink Blue and Orange -- two of MDOT MTA’s highest ridership routes. This new limited-stop service aligns with current initiatives to improve east-west transit connections, including the recently awarded federal RAISE Transit Priority Project and Regional Transit Plan East-West Corridor study. The proposal also includes improved connections to the Patapsco Light Rail stop.
The full draft proposal of the Fall 2022 Service Modifications is available on the project website at www.mta.maryland.gov/fall2022. The public comment period is open now through Monday, June 27, 2022, and MDOT MTA asks the public to review the proposal and share feedback. MDOT MTA will hold three, two-hour virtual public hearings over two days in May – one on Tuesday, May 24, and two on Wednesday, May 25. Riders and others can visit mta.maryland.gov/fall2022 for dates, times and information about how to participate in a public hearing. The final fall schedule changes are proposed to take effect Sunday, August 28, 2022.
A summary of the Local Bus route changes follows:
- QuickLink 40 -
- As outlined on page one, this proposal introduces a new, limited-stop service between North Bend Loop and the Essex Park-and-Ride, along the existing CityLink Blue and CityLink Orange alignments, to decrease travel times. End-to-end travel time on the QuickLink 40 is estimated to be 10% faster than the CityLink routes. Service frequency on the CityLink Blue is proposed to be adjusted by five minutes when the QuickLink is operating (6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.).
- LocalLink 32 -
- The proposal would introduce new service between University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and Patapsco Light Rail via Kaiser Permanente and Blind Industries. This route will improve connections from the Riverview neighborhood to retail businesses along Washington Boulevard and Patapsco Avenue in addition to maintaining access to the MARC Halethorpe station.
- LocalLink 26 -
- The proposal would extend service to Patapsco Light Rail, improving accessibility with a direct and safer connection from Cherry Hill.
- CityLink Silver -
- The proposal would create 24-hour access to Johns Hopkins University and Morgan State University with the addition of five weekday roundtrips and eight weekend round trips.
- Express BusLink 103 -
- To match ridership levels, the proposal would reduce service levels to four trips in the morning peak and four trips in the afternoon peak. Service on the Midway branch is proposed to be discontinued. Alternate service would be available on the CityLink Green.
- Express BusLink 104 -
- The proposal would discontinue this route due to continued low ridership. CityLink Green and LocalLink 53 provides riders with an alternate service option.
- LocalLink 75 -
- The proposal would discontinue the Parkway Center branch of the route due to very low ridership on that segment of the route. LocalLink 75 would now end at Arundel Mills Mall.
- CityLink Purple -
- The proposal would discontinue a segment of service from east of City Hall to Johns Hopkins Hospital. CityLink Purple would now terminate at City Hall. Alternate service is available on LocalLink 56, CityLink Brown, and Metro Subway.
- CityLink Yellow -
- If new service on LocalLink 32 is implemented, the proposal would discontinue the UMBC branch that would be included in the new service.
For more information on each of these service change proposals, riders and others can visit mta.maryland.gov/fall2022 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 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 mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.