Governor Larry Hogan has announced a $135 million plan to revamp the Baltimore region bus system. The overhaul would begin immediately and is expected to be fully implemented by June 2017. As reported in The Baltimore Business Journal:
The plan, called BaltimoreLink, will introduce 12 high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that connect users to transit hubs, such as MARC Train stations, and major employers, such as Johns Hopkins. Those routes will be named CityLink. The Hogan administration says the plan will connect commuters to 745,000 jobs and give 205,000 people access to high-frequency routes. The plan also includes improving the efficiency of existing routes.
“This new investment is in addition to the more than $2.8 billion — that’s $2.8 billion with a B — that the state already spends on transit and transportation in the city of Baltimore,” Hogan said during a press conference at the West Baltimore MARC station. “This incredible comprehensive plan is designed to create a customer-focused transit system for Baltimore that is safer, cleaner and which better meets the needs of Baltimore City residents.”
As reported in The Baltimore Sun the plan failed to draw approval from regional leaders who do not see it as a viable alternative to the Red Line transit project the Governor cancelled:
While the governor touted the plan as a major investment in Baltimore transit, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a staunch supporter of the scuttled Red Line, was not impressed. She declined an invitation to appear at the announcement and later released a statement saying Hogan’s plan “does little to advance” public transit in the city.
“At best, this bus plan may help the state fulfill its basic obligations under Maryland law,” Rawlings-Blake said. “But it fails to deliver the regional East-West economic development benefits that Baltimore’s business leaders, elected officials and residents had been counting on through the Red Line.”
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz also criticized Hogan’s plan as insufficient. “Although the Governor has not shared his transportation plan with me, it appears that it once again leaves the Baltimore region stuck in traffic. Simply ‘window dressing’ a bus system is not a mass transportation solution,” Kamenetz said in a statement.
“They should have been doing upgrades as part of their job anyway. The plan will do nothing to increase choice ridership on mass transit, and it does nothing to promote economic development,” Kamenetz said.
For further information contact:
Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT):
Erin Henson firstname.lastname@example.org
MDOT’s Maryland Transit Administration:
Chuck Brown CBrown12@mta.maryland.gov