The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is dedicated to providing safe, efficient, and reliable transit service. The new BaltimoreLink transit network redesign includes optimizing the bus stop network to improve our customers’ travel experience. For the Summer 2017 service change occurring on June 18, 2017 (BaltimoreLink), the following links provide a list of bus stops proposed for consolidation broken down by either Stop ID, Street Name, or Route Number:
Through this optimization analysis process, it was determined that there is no loss of coverage within one quarter-mile of all existing bus stops, with 99% of the coverage area retained. The remaining areas were in less dense, rural locations where bus stop placement is on an “as-needed” basis.
What is Bus Stop Optimization?
Bus stop optimization is an on-going process to analyze the placement and design of all bus stops in the core bus network, and includes the following actions:
Why Consolidate Bus Stops?
To improve the quality and reliability of bus service, over 5,000 bus stops in the Baltimore service region were analyzed based on their spacing relative to adjacent bus stops. Through this process, it was determined that some bus stops could be removed while still providing adequate access to our riders. Strategically removing bus stops which are unsafe, used by very few people, or close to other stops will improve the riders’ experience, either by faster trip times or improvements to the existing stops.
At the same time, the MTA recognizes that reducing the number of stops may impact some of our senior riders and riders with disabilities. The MTA is committed to ensuring the BaltimoreLink transit network is accessible and easy-to-use for everyone and incorporates rider feedback to identify bus stops that should remain in the network.
How did the MTA decide which stops to consolidate?
Each bus stop was examined individually as well as sequentially along current bus routes. Several factors were considered when deciding whether to retain or consolidate an existing MTA bus stop:
In addition to the four factors identified above, the optimization process noted accessibility and pedestrian safety concerns, such as bus stops which are difficult to reach or located in unsafe conditions. While analyzing transfer points, trip generators, spacing, and stop utilization, pedestrian safety considerations helped determine which stops were to be retained and which stops should be candidates to be consolidated. Aspects of pedestrian safety include the presence of sidewalks, crosswalks, and street lighting.
How to Recognize a Bus Stop Proposed for Consolidation:
Bus stops proposed for consolidation will have rider notices installed on the sign pole.
What Can I Do to Provide Comments on the Bus Stop Optimization Process?
Modifications to the bus stop network occur three times per year in conjunction with MTA’s service changes, typically in February, June, and September. There are several ways to provide comments on the proposed bus stop optimization listed at the top of the page, as well as other requests to add, relocate, or remove bus stops.
Please be sure to include the stop identification number, street the bus stop is located on, as well as the nearest intersecting street, and the reason(s) for your comment or request.
What Determines Where New Bus Stops Are Placed or Relocated?
The process to add new bus stops to the network is elaborate and complex, involving collaboration between many MTA departments as well as other agencies and stakeholders. The location and placement of new bus stops is first determined by the demand and whether the request falls in line with MTA’s bus stop spacing guidelines. Acceptable site conditions must exist before the process can move forward, which includes accessibility, safety, and operational assessments of the area. All new and relocated bus stops have to be constructed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so they are accessible and usable by all riders.
Adding or relocating a bus stop is a complex process that involves collaboration between many parties, both within the MTA as well as other entities, such as the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (DOT) and Parking Authority of Baltimore City (PABC) and stakeholders, such as elected officials, residents, and businesses. Adjoining property/business owners are notified in advance so that questions can be answered and comments addressed before any final decisions are rendered.
All of the proposed relocated bus stops for Summer 2017 involve operational efficiencies related to Transit Signal Priority (TSP), a technology that will be implemented as part of BaltimoreLink. For details on TSP and other infrastructure improvements, please visit http://baltimorelink.com/baltimorelink-basics/infrastructure.
Posted: April 13, 2017