A quality transportation system is an important cornerstone to any vibrant city and region.
Examples of transportation systems that work well can be seen around us. Perhaps one of the most popular transportation networks recently created in the Baltimore region is the Charm City Circulator. The Charm City Circulator consists of 30 free shuttle buses that traverse four routes across Baltimore City, with buses arriving every 10 – 15 minutes at designated stops along each route. The program started in 2010 and ridership has grown consistently over the years, boasting ridership numbers of several hundred thousand every month.
The Charm City Circulator has proven to be fairly successful, connecting riders to other bus routes, trains and commuter lots, in addition to proving to be a useful connection to parts of Baltimore all its own. The network includes a phone application that provides mobile alerts and utilizes hybrid electric buses so that this transportation option is more environmentally-friendly than previous bus options.
In Baltimore County, some communities have begun to take note of the Circulator’s success. Several Towson leaders, for example, have begun to push for a Towson Circulator pilot. As Towson-area Delegate Steve Laffery shares, “Transit’s got to be part of our future.”
This is true in Towson and beyond, so a Towson Circulator should just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to conversations about improving transportation options for Baltimore County residents. For starters, we should not only be considering ways in which Towson residents and visitors can have access to all the county seat offers, but also be contemplating similar within-neighborhood transportation connections. There are some ripe opportunities to support our main streets and distinct neighborhoods throughout the County.
Perhaps even more importantly, there needs to be a serious conversation about the ways in which Baltimore County can better connect the many vibrant communities across our jurisdiction – and how we can thoughtfully create access to the greater Baltimore region with a more robust transportation network. Considering how many employment opportunities are within the county and the many cultural, historic, and entertainment options around us (see one of our prior blogs on this), it makes sense that we create a plan to do more for Baltimore County residents on the transportation front.
A thoughtful transportation approach in Baltimore County can do more to create jobs, revitalize communities and connect residents to great opportunities – and each other.