Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Test-Run of Free Circulator Bus a Success

New Service Coming to Federal Hill Slated to Start July 6

The test run of the city’s north-south Circulator bus route was a huge success yesterday! The hybrid, streamlined bus is quiet, smooth, and easily navigates the narrow city streets, as we saw during an unexpected detour because of the temporary closure of a block of E. Ostend St.

The north-south Yellow Route of the Circulator covers the area from Lafayette Ave., a few blocks north of Penn Station, to E. Ostend Street in Federal Hill. The major thoroughfares through Mt. Vernon and downtown are St. Paul/Light Street and Charles Street. The Yellow Line links to an east-west Red Line that covers the area from Hollins Market east to Little Italy. The Red Line links to the Green Line, which covers Fells Point north to E. Monument Street and west through Jonestown.

Service on all three routes will be 7 days a week and fare-free. Buses will operate every 10 minutes during service hours, now set at 7 am to 11 pm weekdays, 8 am to midnight Saturday, and 10 am to 10 pm Sundays. (Changes in hours may occur prior to launch on July 6.)

The city Department of Transportation invited community residents who have been involved in the route planning (including Federal Hill Main Street) to check it out on Tuesday. The cold, dreary rain did not dampen enthusiasm.

“This is very exciting,” said Cynthia Griffin of the South Baltimore Improvement Committee.

“This will really help as our neighborhoods move toward stricter parking restrictions,” said Betty Bland-Thomas of the Sharp-Leadenhall Planning Committee.

“And, it’s aesthetically pleasing,” said Debbie Alt of South Baltimore Improvement Committee (pictured in photo above). All three riders intend to be frequent users.

The city has purchased DesignLine environmentally-friendly buses. Operational funding is to be provided from increases in parking taxes at municipal garages, traffic mitigation fees paid by developers, and advertising/sponsorship revenues.

Got a catchy name for this new bus? A contest is underway. For details go to:

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