Baltimore County is looking to expand a successful free bus program.
The Towson Loop, a 42-stop route, has grown from around 1,000 riders per month in October 2021 to 6,000 per month this spring.
County Department of Public Works and Transportation Spokesperson Lowell Mesler said the department is currently contracting a “feasibility study” to expand the program, creating new routes in Owings Mills and Catonsville.
“It’s really showing a huge demand, mainly thanks to college students, which is pretty cool,” Mesler said. “We’ve now grown to 6,000 riders a month mainly thanks to Towson University, Goucher University and more people either hybrid working or going back to work. We also see some people going out to restaurants and stuff and using the service.”
The 12-bus fleet is contracted through private company Coach USA and funded through a $3.6 million annual grant from the Maryland Transit Administration.
Mesler said the study, which could take one to two years, was commissioned by the department after receiving requests for additional lines when it solicited feedback for the county’s transportation development plan.