BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The countdown to Baltimore’s new bus system overhaul is down to the final days.
Baltimore Link goes into effect Sunday morning and local leaders are celebrating the major upgrades as decades-old bus routes are being replaced.
The new lines completely redesign Baltimore’s bus system; but that hasn’t happened in decades and leaders say it’s about moving the City forward.
Leaders are promising, better routes, frequent rides and more opportunities for city bus riders during the transportation overhaul.
“Baltimore Link will play a key role in the City’s long term sustainability and economic growth,” says Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh.
The $135 million makeover has some customers confused; others are prepared, but are factoring in extra commute time.
“Like in anything, if you do your advanced strategy with it, you should be OK,” says bus rider Darryl Lee.
The new system is intended to: cut travel time, increase service to popular routes and make the system more reliable.
“All I can do is say I’m feeling good,” a MTA bus driver says.
One of the new major hubs in West Baltimore is what Gov. Larry Hogan called the crucial missing link between buses and the MARC train.
“Baltimore link will connect the people of Baltimore and surrounding jurisdictions with jobs. And they’ll be able to travel conveniently, efficiently, and affordable from where they live to where they work,” Hogan says.
Carolny McFadden takes the bus daily and while she’s retired, she says the new way to get from point A to point B might take some getting used to.
“Come next Monday morning, a lot of people are going to be late for work because they’re going to be on the wrong bus,” McFadden says.
While it’s a major change, leaders believe Baltimore Link can fill the missing links between the City and the future.
The MTA says the new lines are planned to go around traffic, to popular destinations and up and coming job centers.
The roll-out of Baltimore Link begins at 3 a.m. Sunday.
The MTA will be offering free transit rides and discounted monthly passes from Sunday through June 30.