The Charm City Circulator’s budget woes go round and round. On Wednesday, the Rawlings-Blake administration proposed cuts to the city’s free bus including two routes, and an end to another route’s expansion that just went into effect.
According to the Baltimore Department of Transportation, the following cuts are being proposed for January, 2017:
- Ending the Banner Route, which travels from Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry. This route was on the chopping block just last year.
- Ending the Green Route, which travels from downtown to Fells Point and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
- Cutting the extension of the Purple Route between Penn Station and Johns Hopkins’ Homewood campus. This was just implemented in October.
As you probably noticed, the idea of cutting back the Circulator isn’t new. The free bus service has faced a funding shortfall for a few years now. This time, the cuts would close a $6 million funding gap.
Last year, the administration proposed eliminating the Banner Route, but it was overturned at the last minute after citizens weighed in. Instead, the city opted to cut back some Orange Route stops, and ushered in the purple expansion. Before that, there was a plan to implement a $1 charge for the service, which was also defeated. The Circulator was also the focus of a corruption investigation that netted the conviction of former director Barry S. Robinson.
The public outcry that met the last round of proposed changes were enough to reverse the cuts. If you want to make your voice heard, officials are planning several public meetings. Citizens can also mail or email comments to the Department of Transportation, 417 E. Fayette Street, Room 559, Baltimore, MD 21202 or to [email protected]
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