Baltimore bus service starts March 1
BALTIMORE — A state-run bus service will start March 1, linking Kent Island to Annapolis to Baltimore, the Maryland Transit Administration [MTA] has announced.
And the service will run for free for two weeks, March 1 to 14, to encourage future riders.
As part of Governor Larry Hogan’s BaltimoreLink transformative transit plan, the MTA will roll out the two new express commuter bus routes – numbers 210 and 215 – to connect the three locations Monday through Friday. There are no weekend buses for this service.
After the free service period, the fares will apply. The fare depends on where the rider goes, but the maximum fair would $6 one-way, said Paul Comfort, MTA administrator and chief executive officer.
For those interested in taking the bus from Kent Island to Annapolis or all the way to Baltimore, the new Route 210 would apply the most.
The bus spots on Kent Island will run in the morning and return in the afternoon at two park and ride locations — one on Castle Marina Road by Western Auto and the other in Stevensville by Kmart, the MTA said.
Route 210 will consist of five round trips from Kent Island and Annapolis to downtown Baltimore. Services will depart from the two park and ride locations to downtown Baltimore between 5:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.
Returning trips to Kent Island and Annapolis will depart downtown Baltimore between 3:10 p.m. and 5:10 p.m.
For those heading to Annapolis, riders can get off at Westfield Mall and transfer to other bus routes, Comfort said. Drop-off locations in Baltimore include the University of Maryland at Baltimore campus, Charles Street metro station, city hall and the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
To see a complete list of bus stops, times, and exact fares, see the link mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/ Route210EffMar1-2017.pdf. Or call 1-866-RIDE-MTA. The other new bus route is number 215 and will consist of three round trips from downtown Baltimore to Anne Arundel County. Services will depart from downtown Baltimore to Anne Arundel County between 5:45 a.m. and 7:45 a.m. Returning trips to downtown Baltimore will depart Anne Arundel County between 3:17 p.m. to 5:17 a.m.
The buses aren’t the typical city bus, but rather “plush motor coaches” with bathrooms and some have WIFI, Comfort said.
“This is a new commuter service designed to link people to opportunities in downtown Baltimore and Annapolis,” Comfort said. “These new BaltimoreLink enhancements will connect Annapolis, Baltimore City and the Eastern Shore. It’s yet another way we’re keeping our promise to better connect people to jobs, retail, healthcare and entertainment.”
“Once people, who drive between Kent Island, Annapolis and Baltimore, see the ease, convenience and low cost of riding commuter bus 210 and 215, we are confident many will choose to ride transit instead,” Comfort said.
The new bus lines don’t run on the weekends, Comfort said, because the program targets commuters who work during the week. “We play to the masses,” Comfort said.
BaltimoreLink is the multiphase plan to create an interconnected transit system by redesigning the entire local and express bus systems throughout Baltimore and adds 12 new high-frequency, color-coded bus routes that improve connections to jobs and to MARC Train, Metro Subway and Light Rail.
BaltimoreLink transforms Baltimore’s half-a-centur yold and outdated transit network with implementation of bus-only dedicated lanes, installation of transit signal priority, construction of a transfer hub network, rebranding and replacement of more than 6,000 transit signs, expanded commuter bus service, new shared bicycle availability, access to carsharing options and more, said MTA news release.
New Express BusLink launched its suburb-to-suburb service in June 2016. As promised, expanded and new commuter bus service has seen launches in the summer and fall of 2016 with more coming this spring. Highfrequency CityLink routes launch in the summer of 2017 the MTA said.
The state operates local and commuter buses, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service, and a comprehensive Paratransit (Mobility) system.
MTA also manages the taxi access system, and directs funding and statewide assistance to Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City.
This map of the new bus Route 210 shows the path of the new commuter bus service from Kent Island to Annapolis to Baltimore.