The Maryland Department of Transportation prides itself on providing safe, efficient, and reliable transit across the state with excellent customer services. Yet the department noticed the bus network in the greater Baltimore region contained antiquated routes that connected to “outdated” job centers and didn’t serve emerging populations. Older routes were also too long to manage reliably.
To remedy those issues, MDOT and the Maryland Transit Administration decided to overhaul and rebrand the whole system through a program called BaltimoreLink, which created 5.5 miles of new dedicated bus lanes on major downtown Baltimore streets, funded the installation of bike share racks at 15 rail stations, replaced bus stop signs with better user information on available routes and frequencies, aligned bus routes along high ridership corridors that improve access to multiple services and amenities like hospitals, supermarkets and schools, and—through all of this—increased access to high-frequency transit. Transit Signal Priority at key intersections on two pilot corridors contributed to an average 22 percent travel time reduction during morning peak hours, while new transit hubs have allowed for better bus-to-rail transfer ability. All in all, transit users now have a much better overall experience, thanks to MDOT’s $135 million BaltimoreLink.