A new study by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found racial inequity in access to public transit in Baltimore City. 

The project, a collaboration between Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Transit Equity Coalition, and Baltimore community members, sought to review public transit through an equity and environmental health lens.

The study mapped four key metrics: transit equity, social vulnerability, pollution, and health.

The results were mapped by each indicator, with a higher score (darker color) representing areas of greater need. The researchers then overlaid the maps to create a final composite map.

Areas of greater need suffer from more health issues, air pollution, and transit barriers such as fewer transit stops and longer commutes.

The study found that the social vulnerability and health maps reflected the “Black Butterfly” and “White L” of Baltimore. Minority-populated, low-income communities are located in the darker areas reflecting greater need, and white-populated, wealthier communities are located in the lighter areas. 

The final composite map also indicated patterns of racial inequity. 

The study suggests that the public transit system in Baltimore does not adequately meet the needs of its residents, particularly those in low-income neighborhoods populated by people of color. 

The team intends to use the maps to identify which areas are most in need of transit investment and make recommendations to the Maryland legislature, City Council, and the Transportation and Climate Initiative.