N.Y. bus service awaits Md. OK

The Baltimore Sun

Low-fare bus company Megabus.com yesterday called off a Tuesday news conference after jumping the gun in announcing daily service to New York from the state-owned White Marsh Park and Ride.

The Maryland Transit Administration said Megabus has not secured official permission to pick up and drop off passengers at its lot off Route 43.

"Typically we don't allow commercial operators that are competing with people like Greyhound to use our lots," MTA spokeswoman Jawauna Greene said yesterday. "That's why we have to tread very carefully."

Greene said Megabus approached the MTA early this year about using the lot for its Baltimore run, but she said the MTA hadn't yet made a decision.

That should come in the coming weeks, with guidance from state Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari, Greene said.

Megabus said yesterday that it still expected to start a Baltimore run May 30, when it launches East Coast service between seven cities and New York.

Earlier this week, the company had announced a Tuesday news conference at the White Marsh Park and Ride to trumpet the impending arrival of Baltimore-New York service with tickets as low as $1.

Owned by Scotland's Stagecoach Group, Megabus has operated in the United States since April 2006.

The company had no issues arranging pickup locations in its other new East Coast markets - Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Toronto, Atlantic City, N.J., and Buffalo, N.Y. - Megabus spokeswoman Amanda Mullin said yesterday.

The company generally drops passengers off at a curbside if a city's regulations allow it, she said. Baltimore is the only East Coast location where Megabus hopes to operate from a state-owned park and ride lot.

laura.mccandlish @baltsun.com

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