TOWSON, MD—Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski and Councilman David Marks on Tuesday celebrated the official start of service for the Towson Loop, Baltimore County’s first free public transit service.
Long discussed as an innovative idea to reduce congestion in the Towson area and better help residents, students and visitors move around, Olszewski jumpstarted plans to bring a free circulator to Towson’s core destinations and main attractions, fulfilling a major campaign pledge.
“I could not be more proud to finally bring this much-needed, long-promised, free transit service that will better connect our residents with the places they live, work, study, and play,” Olszewski said. “Expanding access to easy, efficient, reliable transit is an essential element in our vision for a better Baltimore County. This is a major step in our efforts to build a stronger local transit system that will carry Baltimore County into the future.”
“(I was) very pleased to join representatives from our federal, state, and local governments as we inaugurated the Towson Loop,” said Councilman Marks. “The Greater Towson Committee partnered with my office on a circulator study in 2014. Thank you to stakeholders such as the TCA and the Towson Chamber of Commerce.”
“Reliable public transit is critical to connecting Maryland commuters and businesses throughout the region,” said Senator Chris Van Hollen. “The new Towson Loop will provide free, safe, and efficient transportation for residents of Baltimore County, getting the young and old alike to where they want to go in Towson, when they want to go there. That’s why I was proud to secure federal funding to support this project and look forward to working with County Executive Olszewski to launch other circulators in the Baltimore area. As we work to implement the Build Back Better agenda, I will keep working to bring federal investments to our state and modernize our transportation and infrastructure for Marylanders.”
“For mass transit to work, it must be safe, convenient and affordable and this project certainly aims to accomplish these goals – you can’t get more affordable than free,” said Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger. “I was proud to support federal grants to purchase the busses that will circulate the Towson Loop and am excited that my constituents now have a new transportation option that will reduce congestion and boost local small businesses. I congratulate County Executive Olszewski on his vision and execution of this innovative project and look forward to taking my first ride.”
“Convenient, reliable public transportation is the key to a more sustainable, accessible and equitable community. I have long supported the Towson Loop, and I am excited about the opportunities it will bring to the residents of Baltimore County as it launches today,” said Congressman John Sarbanes. “My congratulations to County Executive Olszewski and his team on this project.”
Beginning at noon on Tuesday, the Towson Loop will operate on two routes: the north-south Purple Loop route and the east-west Orange Loop.
These routes complement existing MTA service and better connect residents with surrounding major anchors, including Greater Baltimore Medical Center, Goucher College, Sheppard Pratt Health Systems, St. Joseph Medical Center and Towson University, as well as popular retail destinations such as The Shops at Kenilworth, Towson Town Center, and Towson Place.
The Towson Loop will run every 15 to 20 minutes during the following hours of operation:
- Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to midnight.
- Saturday, 10 a.m. to midnight.
The Towson Loop service will be operated by Coach USA, one of the largest private ground passenger transportation companies in North America, through its subsidiary Dillon’s Bus Service.
The Towson Loop consists of a fleet of 12 circulator shuttle buses.
Each bus is equipped with a bike rack and air conditioning, and can hold 25 passengers, with space provided for wheelchairs, bicycles and strollers.
To track and view schedules, estimated bus arrivals, and more, riders can download the Passiogo app or Transit app on Apple store or the Google Play store.
For real-time, estimated arrival information, riders can text a Stop ID to 443-489-4524. Message and data rates may apply. Riders can find individual Stop IDs here.
Baltimore County plans to explore potential expansions of the Loop service to other communities in Baltimore County.
More information about the Towson Loop, including hours of operation and stop locations, is available at http://www.baltcoloop.com.
Photo via Baltimore County Government