Rib­bon-cut­ting held for bus

Record Observer - - Front Page - By CHRISTOPHER KERSEY ck­ersey@ches­pub.com

— Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers joined state of­fi­cials in a rib­bon cut­ting on Tues­day, March 7, to cel­e­brate the new com­muter bus 210, link­ing Kent Is­land to An­napo­lis to Bal­ti­more.

It takes three to six months nor­mally for a new route to catch on, said Paul Com­fort, ad­min­is­tra­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the Mary­land Tran­sit Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“When you start a new route, peo­ple have to change their traf­fic pat­terns.” Com­fort said. “So, we have to make it easy for them, which is why we are of­fer­ing free ser­vice for two

weeks and do­ing a lot of me­dia to en­sure peo­ple un­der­stand how this works.”

The route 210 on Kent Is­land runs in the morn­ing and re­turns 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.

“This new route will con­nect Eastern Shore res­i­dents to em­ploy­ment and ed­u­ca­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties in An­napo­lis and Bal­ti­more,” Com­fort said at the rib­bon cut­ting held at the Stevensville park and ride.

The bus from Kent Is­land stops at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions in An­napo­lis and Bal­ti­more, cre­at­ing a com­muter route for those who live in Queen Anne’s County and work in those two cities. In all, there are five buses with the Route 210 la­bel, in­clud­ing three that run from Kent Is­land to An­napo­lis to Bal­ti­more, and two other buses which run be­tween An­napo­lis and Bal­ti­more.

MTA re­leased the rid­er­ship fig­ures for those buses since the route started. The fol­low­ing rep­re­sents the to­tal num­ber of rid­ers for all five buses per day: 20 peo­ple on March 1, 28 for March 2, 30 for March 3, and 31 for March 6.

Each bus has 55 seats, a bath­room and wifi.

It’s “typ­i­cal on com­muter routes for rid­er­ship to con­tinue to build over time as peo­ple be­gin to change their com­mut­ing pat­terns,” said Ryan Nawrocki, MTA spokesman.

At the rib­bon-cut­ting, Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sion­ers Robert C. Buckey and Jack N. Wil­son Jr. praised the new bus ser­vice.

Buckey said the new bus route will “ab­so­lutely” be suc­cess­ful. “I think the cit­i­zens are going to uti­lize this. The money they are going to save is valu­able. They won’t have the wear and tear on their ve­hi­cles, the gas and the tolls. It’s a win-win sce­nario,” he said.

Wil­son said the suc­cess will de­pend on the mar­ket­ing and how fast the word of mouth spreads. About half of the peo­ple who live in Queen Anne’s County, who work in cities, work in Bal­ti­more or Wash­ing­ton, D.C., he said.

As for the fare, the state is cur­rently run­ning the 210 buses for free through March 14. Af­ter that, the fare will be im­ple­mented. The max­i­mum fare is $6.

Bus 210 starts at the Cas­tle Ma­rina park and ride, pick­ing up rid­ers at 5:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. and then stops again at the Stevensville site five min­utes later for each of those times.

In the af­ter­noon, the buses re­turn to the Stevensville site at 4:43 p.m., 5:43 p.m. and 6:43 p.m., and then five min­utes later at the Cas­tle Ma­rina site for each of those times.

The Route 210 has drop-off lo­ca­tions in Bal­ti­more in­clud­ing the Univer­sity of Mary­land at Bal­ti­more cam­pus, Charles Street Metro Sta­tion, City Hall, and the John Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal.

Also, the bus will link rid­ers to many other tran­sit op­tions in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous con­nec­tions to lo­cal An­napo­lis Tran­sit at the An­napo­lis Mall stop. And, in Bal­ti­more, the 210 will link to Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Au­thor­ity’s light rail, Metro sub­way and lo­cal bus routes.

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.

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER KERSEY

Paul Com­fort, ad­min­is­tra­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the Mary­land Tran­sit Ad­min­is­tra­tion, spoke at a rib­bon­cut­ting for the new com­muter bus 210 at the Stevensville park and ride. Com­fort is a for­mer Queen Anne’s county com­mis­sioner.

PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER KERSEY

Queen Anne’s County Com­mis­sioner Robert Buckey, left, at­tended a rib­bon-cut­ting for a new bus route that links Kent Is­land to An­napo­lis to Bal­ti­more. On the right is Paul Com­fort, ad­min­is­tra­tor and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer for the Mary­land Tran­sit Ad­min­is­tra­tion. The rib­bon-cut­ting was held on March 7 at the Stevensville park and ride where peo­ple can catch the new bus (pic­tured).

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