BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Flashing orange message boards warned of an inconvenient commute as Baltimore’s 17,000 subway riders bused their way around a busted system.
“Where do we go? It was crazy, it was confusing,” one commuter told WJZ’s Kimberly Eiten on Tuesday.
For the next four weeks, passengers of the city’s SubwayLink have no choice after the Maryland Transit Administration announced a system-wide shutdown on Sunday following safety inspections that showed track repairs scheduled for summer couldn’t wait.
“I’d rather see us err on the side of protecting our citizens — make sure that our subway system is safe,” said Baltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Pugh was once again forced to call on the state to help foot the bill for Baltimore’s latest infrastructure failure.
“The system’s been underfunded for three decades and this is ongoing maintenance buildup issues,” said Gov. Larry Hogan.
A ripple effect started Friday with the need for maintenance on the above-ground system. It then expanded to the shutdown of all 14 stations.
Until stations are open again, Gov. Hogan announced the state will pay $2.2 million to run free coach buses for passengers left stranded by the closures.
“We’re trying to do everything we can to make it, you know, less inconvenient for them so they can try to get to work,” the governor said.
MTA had workers on hand to help riders along with their adjusted commute.
Buses will stop at all stations Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to midnight and on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. to midnight. The shuttle buses are in addition to the existing BaltimoreLink bus options at each station provided by CityLink and LocalLink routes.
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