MTA Ready For New Bus Routes, But Riders May Not Be

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been nearly two years in the works, but now the launch of Baltimore’s new bus routes is just days away.

Baltimore LINK comes with major changes for riders, as they have to learn to navigate new routes and different ride times.

It’s a complete overhaul of Baltimore’s bus system and riders WJZ’s Kimberly Eiten spoke with are confused.

It’s the final phase of an 18 month makeover of the city’s bus lines that’s about to hit riders all at once.

“As far as them changing the actual way it goes, I didn’t know anything about that, actually,” said bus rider Kareem Snowden.

“With the timing and the weather the way it is, they could have been more organized,” Eva Johnson.

Confusion and concerns just six days before they become the newest customers of Governor Larry Hogan’s $135 million transportation overhaul.

Back in 2015, he called it transformative, but bus rider Bob Smith has another way of putting it.

“You don’t need all these different colored lines,” he said. “You need to tell the people what’s going on, so they know what’s going on.”

Wrinkles aside, MTA workers promise better bus lines that will cut travel time, increase service to popular routes, and make the system more reliable, with five miles of new lanes to help get buses around downtown and around backed up traffic.

“We don’t want to be part of the problem. We want to be part of the solution,” said Kevin Quinn, with MTA. “So, we’re lessening the number of buses on certain roads, increasing on others, and spreading out how we access downtown.”

Ready or not, those changes get the green light on Sunday.

Bus riders like Snowden hope it will fast track, or at least keep on track, their commute.

“I hope it still comes right here and take me down there. That’s what I’m hoping for,” Snowden said.

Even the signs at bus stops are about to change. All 5,000 will be swapped out overnight on Saturday. The new ones will show not just the route, but where buses are going, when, and how often.

Click here for MTA’s web page with maps and routes to help people through this major change.

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