[IMAGE]Charmcitycirculator-full.jpg[/IMAGE]On Monday, the Baltimore City Department of Transportation (BCDOT) launched its free shuttle bus service, the Charm City Circulator, featuring a fleet of 21 eco-friendly buses that will travel along three routes in Baltimore City.
This new fleet of hybrid-electric buses, manufactured by Charlotte, N.C.-based DesignLine, is the first of its kind in a major metropolitan area. The shuttles are designed to reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gases while offering a reliable and convenient alternative mode of transportation.
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon was joined by BCDOT Director Alfred H. Foxx and business, tourism and community leaders for a ribbon cutting ceremony to launch the new Charm City Circulator’s Orange Route.
“This new fleet of eco-friendly buses will provide a faster, cleaner and greener way to travel about Baltimore’s busy downtown neighborhoods,” said Mayor Dixon. “Similar systems in cities across the country have helped to decrease congestion and improve air quality. We are very proud to launch such an innovative alternative mode of transportation which is free of charge for all who want to ride.”
The buses will operate on three separate routes. The Orange Route, which began operation Monday, will travel along Lombard and Pratt Streets between Hollins Market and Harbor East. Two additional routes will be deployed in the spring of 2010.
The Charm City Circulator will provide citizens with the opportunity to connect between other forms of public transportation such as the light rail, MARC trains, the subway and even the Water Taxi Harbor Connector. The new shuttle service will also tie together growing communities in the busy downtown district and will allow for downtown employees to connect with less expensive parking areas on the outskirts of town.
In order to provide fast and convenient service, the Department of Transportation has installed designated bus lanes along with other transit priority mechanisms in the service area. These methods will keep the shuttles moving on a ten-minute frequency, seven days a week.
To learn more about the Charm City Circulator, visit www.charmcitycirculator.com. The Website provides detailed information including hours of operation, route maps and stop locations.