The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Baltimore City plan to roll out a new series of red dedicated bus lanes through Baltimore City’s downtown starting May 15, announces the MTA and Baltimore City Department of Transportation. According to its press release, “these dedicated bus lanes are a key element of the Hogan Administration’s BaltimoreLink plan to transform transit in the Baltimore region.” The city and state previously partnered to place dedicated bus lanes on Pratt and Lombard streets through downtown.
The lane painting will take place overnight between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on a total of nine streets, throughout the summer. From the release:
“These dedicated bus lanes will help our system’s reliability by allowing our buses to move faster through the downtown area,” said MTA Administrator and CEO Paul Comfort. “These new lanes will complement the existing bus-only lanes on Pratt and Lombard streets and allow us to continue to deliver on our promise of transforming transit in Baltimore.” …
“Roadways for dedicated bus lanes were evaluated based on traffic volumes, the number of buses operating on each street, and the proportion of people being moved by transit versus private vehicles,” said BCDOT Acting Director Frank Murphy. “By separating transit vehicles from mixed traffic, we’ve committed to making transit a more viable transportation option in Baltimore.”
During September and October of 2016, the MTA Police Force, Baltimore Police Department and Baltimore City Transportation Enforcement Officers undertook a large, two-month public education campaign to inform the public about dedicated bus lanes in Baltimore. There was a grace period during this time where the public was issued warnings for driving in a dedicated bus lane. Anyone who violates state law and drives in dedicated bus lanes will receive a $90 fine and one point on their driver’s license. Baltimore City Transportation Enforcement Officers, the Baltimore Police Department and MTA Police are handling enforcement.