Public hearings to be held this month in Woodlawn, Owings Mills
If you use bus transportation in the northwest, it is likely that your commute between the city and county includes travel on Security Boulevard, Liberty Road or Reisterstown Road. Hopefully, your ride will be on time, more efficient and more pleasant. Maryland Department of Transportation is rolling out a redesigned transit system called BaltimoreLink, which officials say will expand and improve service.
The goal is also to better integrate local and express routes with Amtrak, MARC train, commuter bus, light rail and Metro subway service, provide better customer service and cleaner buses. The first phase of implementation includes improvements to the MTA express bus service, which hits stops at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) and University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) in Catonsville. Designed to connect commuters to work centers, new express routes are slated to become effective June 19.
The public will be able to provide comment on the express bus proposal at six scheduled hearings in the metropolitan area. Two of them will be held in the area: Wednesday, March 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Woodlawn Library, 1811 Woodlawn Drive, 21207, and on Monday, March 28, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Owings Mills Library, 10302 Grand Central Ave., 21117.
The new suburb-to-suburb routes are:
- Route 106: Owings Mills Metro Station to White Marsh, with stops at Stevenson University and Towson
- Route 107: Old Court Metro Station to Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, with stops at Security Square Mall, CCBC and UMBC. The current Route 99 will be eliminated because of duplication.
- Route 102: White Marsh to Towson, with stops at Towson Town Center and North Plaza Mall
Route 150, which goes from Columbia Town Center to downtown Baltimore, was modified to extend to Harbor East. Service on that route will be eliminated to Long Gate Park and along Edmondson Avenue between Ingleside Avenue and Rolling Road. Local Bus 77 will have additional trips between Old Court Metro and UMBC during peak hours.
The State’s BusLink plan also features expanded light rail service and new commuter bus service between Baltimore and Aberdeen Proving Ground/Havre de Grace and between Annapolis/Kent Island and enhanced service to Columbia.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced the $135 million plan in October, weeks after declaring that he was eliminating state funding for the Red Line project. The Red Line would have connected a 14.1-mile light rail line from CMS in Woodlawn to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in East Baltimore.
The first round of meetings was held in November and December. Complaints ranged from discourteous and unhelpful drivers to buses that arrived late or not at all, forcing customers to walk to their destinations or arrive late to work.
MTA is still gathering feedback. You can also submit comments to HearingComments@mta.maryland.gov; mail comments to MTA, Office of Customer and Community Relations, 6 St. Paul St. Baltimore, Md. 21202; or visit mta.maryland.gov/baltimorelink-hearings to download and print a comment form.
To get the full details of the new routes and changes, visit http://mta.maryland.gov/baltimorelink.