June 27, 2016

Time: 8:00 – 10:00 AM
Location: Baltimore Community Foundation (2 East Read Street)

June 27, 2016

Attendees: Roxana Beyranvand, Father Michael Bishop, Liz Briscoe, Robin Budish, Luis Cardona Jade Clayton, Art Cohen, Ben Cohen, Mark Edelson, George Frazier, Jeffrey Grigg, Ben Groff, Paulo Gregory Harris, Thomas Hewitt, Jr., Betty Hickey, John Land, Jim Leanos, Brooke Lierman, Jackie MacMillan, Kamau Marshall, Eric Norton, Brian O’Malley, Klaus Philipsen, Kevin Quinn, Michael Romeo, Jimmy Rouse, Ann Sherrill, Jill Sorensen, Sandy Sparks, Marc Szarkowski, Yolanda Takesian, Raven Thompson, Gigi Wirtz

Jimmy Rouse, on behalf of Transit Choices welcomed everyone and opened the meeting. Jimmy then introduced Kevin Quinn (Director, Office of Planning and Programming with the MTA), and explained that the purpose of the meeting was to have Kevin provide updates on the BaltimoreLink metrics analysis, and BaltimoreLink version 2.0.

Kevin’s responses were supplemented with the following PowerPoint presentation highlights. A copy of the complete presentation can be found here: BaltimoreLink PPT Stakeholder Presentation-1

MTA PowerPoint Presentation Overview: What is BaltimoreLink?

  • Improve service quality and reliability
  • Maximize access to high-frequency transit
  • Strengthen connections between the MTA’s bus and rail routes
  • Align the network with existing and emerging job centers
  • Involve riders, employees, communities, and elected officials in the planning process


  • Modes
  • Places
  • People


  • Safety
  • Efficiency
  • Reliability
  • Customer Service

The SolutionThe BaltimoreLink Network

  • CityLINK: High-frequency routes into and throughout urban core
    1. Color-coded routes
    2. All lines access Downtown
    3. 24 hours of service per day
    4. Designed to connect to all other CityLink routes and to Rail Stations
  •  LocaLINK: Local Routes connecting to CityLink routes
    1. Neighborhood connectivity
    2. Suburb-to-urban core connectivity
  • Express BusLINK: Limited stop routes into urban core and suburb-to-suburb
    1. Connecting to Regional Job Centers and Downtown

Measuring the New SystemPartners

  • Baltimore Metropolitan Council (BMC)
    1. Method: Regional travel demand model
    2. Measured: Transfers, travel time and access to jobs
  • Maryland Department of Planning (MDP)
    1. Method: GIS mapping
    2. Measured: Frequent Transit Network and population group access to human services

Discussion Summary:
– Under the BaltimoreLink plan, the number of bus transfers will increase by    1.7%
– Average transit travel time does not change; remains at 52 minutes
–  Increases by 20% the average number of jobs accessible within 30 minutes
– Dedicated bus lanes being considered by the City include Baltimore, Fayette, Gay, and Lombard streets; MTA is recommending 5 ½ miles of dedicated bus lanes
– Formerly called “transit hubs” are now referred to as “transfer facilities”; 11 sites have been identified and are moving forward with final design
– Public workshop period will run until September 30, 2016
– Bus USA procurement (to provide accurate real-time bus data) has yet to be awarded
– General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) is publically available on the MTA website
– 6,000 or more bus stop signs will be changed city-wide
– There is a new BaltimoreLink website: https://mta.maryland.gov/baltimorelink

Q & A Summary:
– Question on communication issues; MTA response: they are meeting constantly with CityDOT, have scheduled another round of public workshops, scheduling stakeholder meetings, and will have a  “request a briefing” option on the BaltimoreLink website.
– Question on budget; MTA response: BaltimoreLINK operating budget is $70 million/year over and above the current operating budget (about $700 million 1% increase).
– Question on BaltimoreLink rollout, phased or sudden; MTA response: it will be a sudden, one-time rollout.
– Question on forecasting and economic development; MTA response: they are focused on job centers identified by the Opportunity Collaborative.
– Question on east-west route and disinvested communities; MTA response: the biggest impact will be on reliability and frequency.
– Question on average commute time and importance of reducing that to improve upward mobility; MTA response: the goals are to 1) not increase the average trip time and 2) make the new system not necessarily faster, but more reliable.
– Question on analysis of access to schools; MTA says main metric looked at was a school’s access to frequent transit.
– Question on Kirk Avenue bus facility; MTA response: just a few more months remain until Kirk is complete and then the next facility that needs to be looked at is Remington.
– Question on Charm Cards; MTA response: they would like to distribute as many cards as possible and are exploring the possibility of simply giving them away pre-loaded with fares.
– Question on next steps; MTA response: come to workshops, give feedback, spread the word.

Robin Budish, on behalf of Transit Choices concluded the meeting by thanking everyone for attending, and acknowledged Kevin Quinn for his continued spirit of communication, cooperation and collaboration. Kevin was invited to attend the September 2016 meeting to share much more on BaltimoreLink:

  • Outreach
  • Updated Changes
  • Additional Metrics
  • Capital Changes