Will Governor Hogan’s Baltimore Transit Plan Work?
ROCKVILLE, MD (November 11, 2015) — The Maryland Public Policy Institute today released a new study examining BaltimoreLink, Governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to transform transit in the City of Baltimore. The governor’s plan is expected to provide access to 745,000 jobs in the region and create north-south and east-west bus lanes as well as hubs to connect transit and improve access for riders and cyclists. The full study can be found at this link.
“BaltimoreLink is a bold attempt to fix a broken transit system,” said Christopher B. Summers, president of the Institute. “City residents need a seamless transportation link to the region’s economic opportunity centers, such Towson, Columbia and Fort Meade. Our study examines whether BaltimoreLink can deliver faster, flexible and more reliable transportation for the region without busting public budgets.”
The study, written by policy analyst Nick Zaiac, includes the following key findings:
High frequency bus lines fit Baltimore: Baltimore is better suited to a larger network of bus lines than a few costly rail lines. The new service, Baltimore CityLink, will have 10-minute on-peak and 15-minute off-peak service, and will be laid out in an understandable format, with a map resembling typical rail service. It will provide a one-transfer link between each bus line and the city’s current rail-based system, correcting many of the typical complaints about bus service, including the problem of chronically unreliable buses.
Transitways will be key to CityLink’s success: For CityLink to succeed, dedicated bus corridors will be necessary along some downtown streets. Downtown traffic is typically the biggest cause of the delays that make many current bus systems unreliable. In addition to moving commuters faster, dedicated lanes can eliminate conflicts with potential drop-offs, deliveries or illegal parking along the roadway edge.
Private car-sharing concept adds new possibilities: The Maryland Transit Administration has issued a request for proposals from companies to provide car-sharing services at MTA rail stations. A car-sharing service would provide commuters extra mobility to and from public locations and enable private sector partners to help solve transportation challenges the public sector has been unable to solve on its own.
Download the fill report at mdpolicy.org.
About the Maryland Public Policy Institute: Founded in 2001, the Maryland Public Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization that focuses on state policy issues. The Institute’s mission is to formulate and promote public policies at all levels of government based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society. Learn more at mdpolicy.org.