In October, 2015, Governor Larry Hogan announced a $135 million in targeted investments to transform and improve transit throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. The multi-phase plan will create an interconnected transit system, known as BaltimoreLink, and includes redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout Baltimore and adding 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and other transit modes.
The BaltimoreLink system is intended to deliver a unified transit network and includes renaming existing Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) modes: LocalLink (Local Bus), Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink and MobilityLink to create an interconnected transit system.
A major component of the BaltimoreLink system is CityLink – 12 new, high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that will improve reliability and better connect riders to Amtrak, Commuter Bus, Light RailLink, MARC Train, Metro SubwayLink and other services in Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs. In Baltimore City, new CityLink routes are to run every 10 minutes during peak periods and every 15 minutes during the midday. CityLink buses will be specially branded and travel on color-coded routes with easy-to-read signage and detailed maps that will make the system easier to use. The intent is for CityLink bus routes, Light RailLink and Metro SubwayLink to form an interconnected, one-transfer system; that is, on the new system, a rider will be able to get from any stop to any other stop with only one transfer.
Another benefit is the plan should provide easier access to 745,000 jobs throughout the Baltimore metropolitan area. It’s currently estimated:
- Over 130,000 more jobs will be accessible via high-frequency transit compared to the existing network – a 36.7% increase
- 205,000 more people will have access to high-frequency transit compared to the existing network – a 34% increase
- 30,000 more people will have access to transit by increasing the service area by approximately 18 square miles
This much touted transit improvement effort was in part a result of an analysis and compilation of the data and feedback from the Bus Network Improvement Project, including current and projected population and job trends, ridership patterns and transit route performance information to develop BaltimoreLink.
MTA officials have begun an extensive public outreach effort to educate citizens on the elements of the plan and seek their feedback and input on the changes through the June, 2016 launch of the new ExpressBusLink service and the June, 2017 launch of CityLink, along with the totally redesigned LocalLink bus system.