One-Year Later: Evaluating Baltimore's Overhauled Bus System

The $135 million BaltimoreLink bus system redesign launched in June 2017.
June 21, 2018, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Colin Campbell reports on the performance of Baltimore's revamped bus system a year after the BaltimoreLink system launched, designed to improve the reliability of bus service on the Maryland Transportation Authority (MTA) system.

Maryland Transit Administrator Kevin Quinn tells Campbell that complaints are down and reliability is up. Ridership has mostly bounced back after a big decline in the month following the system redesign.

Ridership on the system fell by nearly 23 percent — or 1.4 million trips — in the month following the overhaul, according to data MTA reported to the federal government. It has since bounced back: Monthly ridership in May was down less than 1 percent compared to May 2017.

The main goal of the system redesign was reliable service, and that measure is still proving difficult to achieve. BaltimoreLink strives to enable buses arriving when they're supposed to 80 percent of the time. "Nearly a third of the LocalLink buses and more than a quarter of the high-frequency CityLink buses still don’t show up on time, according to MTA data," reports Campbell.

More changes to the Baltimore bus system is coming this year, however, including mobile ticketing and real-time location tracking. 

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Published on Friday, June 15, 2018 in Baltimore Sun
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