For the past year and a half, I have commuted by bus through Baltimore, and I couldn’t agree more with the man, waiting at the bus stop with me, who concluded that the MTA (Maryland Transit Administration) may as well stand for “Might Take Awhile.” On one hand, I’m saving gas money and reducing my carbon footprint. On the other, I could drive to work within 15-20 minutes, but commuting by bus takes a good 45 minutes to an hour.
Baltimore offers many public transit options—the MARC train, the light rail, the metro, the buses, and now the free Charm City Circulators. But cars still seem to rule the streets, especially because there aren’t enough buses or they run off-schedule.
The city is showing signs of hope of a less congested and more strongly-connected community. The Red Line—a new east-west light rail—is coming to link neighborhoods all the way from Woodlawn in Baltimore County, through downtown, to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The Red Line is potentially a big step towards integrating not only Baltimore neighborhoods but our existing public transit systems as well. Hopefully, this addition will decrease traffic congestion, increasing ridership and getting more cars off the road. It’s also encouraging to see more and more bike commuters streaming through new and existing bike lanes, of which I have started to join.
With many being unable to afford a car and all its additional expenses, I’m grateful that Baltimore even has a public transit system. And while current buses consistently “might take awhile,” I do have hopes for Baltimore becoming a more livable city, through an efficient, effective public transportation system.
For more information about the red line: