MTA piloting bus line between downtown Baltimore and Guinness brewery

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Credit: Edwin Remsberg/Associated Press.

A year and change after lawmakers increased statewide brewing limits to cater to Guinness’ new U.S. production facility, Maryland is creating a new bus line spur to shuttle visitors to and from the attraction and brewing plant in Relay.

The Maryland Transit Administration today announced a pilot project with the CityLink Yellow route, starting Sunday, that will send buses from downtown Baltimore to the Guinness Open Gate Brewery and vice-versa.

The pilot, happening for the next 12 months, will include nine round trips on weekdays, seven on Saturdays and six on Sundays. The total time for the route from Guilford and Centre streets to the brewery would be 30 to 40 minutes, according to a release. The first buses to the brewery would leave just before or at 6 a.m., depending on the day, and the last ones from there would depart at 11:45 p.m.

The new service would add a spur off of the CityLink Yellow line, which runs from Mondawmin to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus in Catonsville. Buses would terminate in the city at Guilford Avenue and Centre Street, and signage would read “Relay” or “Downtown” to indicate where the bus is headed.

The pilot spur would end or begin at a dedicated stop on the Guinness grounds.

In a statement, MTA Administrator Kevin Quinn pointed out that the transit system made a similar adaptation to serve Tradepoint Atlantic with its own line almost two years ago, with buses traveling between Bayview and Sparrows Point.

“MDOT MTA is continuing to deliver on its promise of connecting riders to job centers with this new connection to Guinness,” Quinn said. “This new CityLink service will give both employees and the public much needed access to this growing area.”

Michael Donilon, general manager for the Guinness Open Gate Brewery, said in an emailed statement that the pilot route “brings more options for both visitors and our staff to travel safely to and from the brewery. We’re pleased to work alongside MTA on this exciting development in the brewery’s role in Maryland.”

The Dublin-based company opened its Relay outpost last summer, and recently celebrated its first birthday. The facility specializes in producing a blonde lager sporting the Maryland flag and experimental beers served in its tasting room.

Per the brewer, more than 400,000 people have visited since its August 2018 debut.

The MTA plans to analyze data on “the feasibility of the service” with the CityLink Yellow pilot over the next year. Any resulting changes would be made in fall of 2020.

This story has been updated.

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
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