State transportation officials are asking for public input on seven proposed transit routes that would connect Towson to downtown Baltimore.
The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration unveiled seven options for a new north-to-south transit line connecting Baltimore County to Baltimore City by light rail, bus or subway. The seven proposed “alternatives” were identified in a feasibility study completed in 2021. The assessment is one of the first out of 30 transit corridors the agency will study as part of its 25-year Regional Transit Plan aimed at improving public transportation in Central Maryland.
MDOT MTA encourages residents to compare the options and give their feedback in an online survey available until Nov. 3. Two public meetings discussing the proposals will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 22 and Oct. 3.
Towson and Baltimore are connected by four bus lines, including CityLink Red which is one of the highest ridership routes in the Baltimore service region, according to the MTA. Riders also frequently take CityLink Green, Silver and LocalLink 52.
“The robust existing ridership on these routes is one of many indicators that this is a corridor that would benefit from additional transit investment,” Paul Shepard, an MDOT MTA spokesperson, said in a statement.
The agency wants to hear from riders and residents about what areas need better access to public transportation and which mode of transportation they prefer. Public feedback is the first phase of the north-south corridor plan. Based on the public’s input, the agency will narrow down the proposals to include in a more detailed study, which will identify where to place specific stations or stops and how to secure funding for a new transit line.
It would take at least five years to complete planning, environmental review, design and construction for the north-south corridor once a route is selected. Timing also depends on the availability of federal funds, according to MDOT MTA. “Local priorities and opinions will also help determine the project’s future,” Shepard said in a statement.
Among the seven options, four are bus routes, two are light rail lines and one is a subway route. Five routes include some travel on York Road and Greenmount Avenue.
- Alternative 1, represented by a pink line, is Light Rail Transit from Lutherville station in Baltimore County to the University of Maryland Medical Center. It travels on York Road and Greenmount Avenue and takes the Orleans Street bridge to connect to St. Paul Street. It ends at UMMC.
- Alternative 2, represented by a dark red line, is along the same route as Alternative 1 but is a Bus Rapid Transit line rather than Light Rail Transit. It travels from Greenmount Avenue to Hillen and Gay streets, ending at UMMC.
- Alternative 3, represented by a purple line, is a bus line from Towson to Harbor East, which travels on York Road and Greenmount Avenue. The route turns west at Greenmount Avenue to merge with St. Paul Street, taking Pratt Street to Harbor East.
- Alternative 4, represented by a light green line, is an underground subway route called Heavy Rail Transit, or Metro SubwayLink, which travels from Towson to Port Covington along York Road. It turns west to 33rd Street and St. Paul Street to reach Port Covington.
- Alternative 5, represented by a dark green line, is a bus line from Towson to Port Covington. It takes York and Greenmount roads to connect west on 33rd Street to meet St. Paul and Charles streets. It concludes at Port Covington.
- Alternative 6, represented by a blue line, is a Light Rail Transit line from the Lutherville Light Rail Station to the Inner Harbor. It takes Goucher Boulevard southeast to Loch Raven Boulevard. It continues south to 25th Street and connects to St. Paul and Charles streets, ending in Otterbein.
- Alternative 7, represented by an orange line, is a bus line from Towson to Harbor East. It takes Joppa Road to connect with Loch Raven Boulevard and 33rd Street. It continues to St. Paul and Charles streets to Harbor East. It is the longest route among the options and has the largest number of stations.