Baltimore’s revamped transit system the BaltimoreLink is officially up and running. Officials believe improvements rolled out Sunday, will make it easier for commuters to get around.
There was mixed reaction as some people noticed faster travel times, while others experienced long wait times and confusing schedules.
“When the idea first came out because I used to go to those hearings and everybody thought the governor was crazy and I thought, ‘Yeah, this is going to be a little tough,'” bus rider Clarence Simmons Jr. said. “Then, it turns out to be it really isn’t, and if people have really been paying attention to the directions the bus drivers have given us, and listening to when they’re trying to instruct us when you get on, it should be pretty easy.”
Buses now have their own lanes and signal priority to hold green lights longer, increasing speed and reliability. New city link buses will be specially branded and travel on color-coded routes.
Bus rider Shai Crawley was curious about the new system and spent his day riding several buses.
“I caught the local link 21 going to Canton Crossing, and that was just really not good, over a 30-minute wait time, and I actually said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to walk.’ I just got impatient. No one should have to wait over 30 minutes,” Crawley said.
Crawley said he’s not sure if officials delivered the comprehensive, efficient and effective mass transit system they promised.
“I hope that this isn’t the improvement that they were talking about was changing the name I hope there’s an actual change where people can actually get to work on time because right now considering day one I don’t see that I didn’t see too much of an improvement I will be riding tomorrow and the next two weeks to test it out further,” Crawley said.
In celebration of BaltimoreLink’s launch rides on local and express buses, and the light rail and metro subway are free through June 30.
“It’s awesome, going down to the O’s game for free,” light rail rider Mike Kelen said.
“That’s amazing and it’s a great way to increase ridership in the city of Baltimore,” light rail rider Nicholas Lehnertz said.
The MTA is also making other improvements, including real-time information signs and bus shelters.