Thursday, June 11, 2009

Your New Ride Is...

(image credit, www.ci.baltimore.md.us)

the Charm City Circulator.

The new name was revealed yesterday, along with one of the new buses, at City Hall. 18 of these buses, which are clean-energy hybrids, will be on the road later this summer. The free shuttle will operate on three routes around downtown. One will go between City Hall and Johns Hopkins Hospital, the second will go from UMB to Harbor East, and the third will go from Penn Station to Cross Street Market.

For all of you that remember DASH, this is a huge improvement over that original service that died when the funding went dry a few years back. The Charm City Circulator will be funded through the increase in the downtown parking tax.

The hope is this shuttle will be appealing to not only tourists, but commuters, students, and residents, who need to get around the downtown area. Now, Fells Point residents can easily get downtown, UMB students can get to the Harbor, commuters coming into Penn Station can access the Charles Street corridor easier the Light Rail, and Federal Hill residents can get out without driving.

To make sure the buses can maintain 10 minute headways downtown, plans are to add dedicated bus lanes along Pratt and Lombard to accommodate the Charm City Circulator as well as MTA buses. Seems like a no brainer, but how come this wasn't done a while ago?

For info see www.yournameyourride.com

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