ALTERNATIVES AT A GLANCE

 
Alternative 1

Bus Rapid Transit from Bayview to Ellicott City via Johns Hopkins Hospital and CMS/SSA.

 
Alternative 2

Bus Rapid Transit from Bayview to Ellicott City via Johns Hopkins Hospital and US 40.

 
Alternative 3

Heavy Rail Transit (Metro) from Bayview to Edmondson Village, Bus Rapid Transit from Edmondson Village to Ellicott City.

 
Alternative 4

Light Rail Transit from Essex to CMS/SSA via Bayview and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

 
Alternative 5

Bus Rapid Transit from Essex to CMS/SSA via Bayview and Johns Hopkins Hospital.

 
Alternative 6

Light Rail Transit from Bayview to CMS/SSA via the Waterfront.

 
Alternative 7

Bus Rapid Transit from Bayview to CMS/SSA via the Waterfront.

EXPLORE THE ALTERNATIVES

HOW WE GOT HERE

DETERMINED PROJECT GOALS

In spring / summer 2021, we hosted dozens of conversations with local jurisdictions and members of the public, and we collected nearly 1,000 surveys from a representative sample of area residents. These interactions were used to develop a set of corridor-specific goals and objectives to evaluate potential routes, modes, and service charactersitics (including station locations and frequency).

Improve the connectivity and operations of the existing transit network.
Expand the reach and connectivity of the regional transit network.
Prioritize the needs of existing transit riders and transit-critical populations.
Maximize the economic and environmental benefit of a major transit investment.

CREATED ALTERNATIVES

Alternatives allow us to test combinations of different kinds of transit service (mode) and connections to key destinations (alignments).

Alignment

To determine where stations would be located and how close they would be to each other, we used public surveys and conversations to get an idea of where people want to be able to travel by transit. We also considered broader trends in travel patterns and transit ridership, as well as land use and market conditions.


Mode

Icon for Heavy Rail Transit Icon for Light Rail Transit Icon for Bus Rapid Transit
We are testing three types of transit service - Heavy Rail Transit (Metro), Light Rail Transit (LRT), and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) - that individually and in combination with each other best meet the corridor goals and transit demand.
Service Type
Definition
Reliability
Stop Spacing
Average Passenger Capacity (per vehicle)
 
Icon for Heavy Rail Transit Heavy Rail Transit (HRT)
  • Electric rail system powered by third rail
  • Must operate in exclusive fixed guideway, often underground
  • Serves areas with high-density development and high-transit demand
  • High construction costs
Icon for Hi Reliability

High

Icon for High spacing

1 - 2 miles

Icon for High capacity

70 - 190

Icon for Light Rail Transit Light Rail Transit (LRT)
  • Electric rail system powered by overhead wires
  • Operates in dedicated fixed guideway, but can run in mixed traffic
  • Medium to high construction costs
Icon for Hi Reliability

High

Icon for Medium spacing

.5 - 1 mile

Icon for High capacity

60 - 175

Icon for Bus Rapid Transit Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
  • Bus-based transit system
  • Operates in both dedicated busways and mixed traffic allowing for route flexibility
  • Provides the quality of rail transit with the flexibility of buses using traffic signal priority, off-board fare collection, elevated platforms and enhanced stations
  • Low to medium construction costs
Icon for Medium Reliability

Medium to High

Icon for Low spacing

.25 - 1 mile

Icon for Medium capacity

40 - 110

All Alternatives would operate at 10-15 minute frequencies or better 20-24 hours per day


SELECTED MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS

In Fall 2021, we chose a range of measures that align with the corridor goals to evaluate how each Alternative performs. Additionally, we performed modeling to project the ridership and transit system effect each Alternative would have. Here is a summary of what we've learned:

ALTERNATIVES1234567
    Mode BRT BRT BRT + HRT LRT BRT LRT BRT
    Endpoints Bayview - Ellicott City Essex - CMS Bayview - CMS
    Length 22.7 miles 18.4 miles 19.1 miles 16.4 miles 17.1 miles 14.1 miles 14.2 miles
    Number of Stations 39 36 25 28 33 19 31
    Average Station Spacing (miles) 0.6 0.5 0.8 0.6 0.5 0.7 0.5
GOAL THEME MEASURE OF              
icon for improved connectivityImprove the connectivity and operations of the existing transit network Reliability Percent of dedicated or separated guideway GOOD BETTER BETTER BETTER BETTER BEST BETTER
Fixed or Flexible Guideway FLEXIBLE FLEXIBLE FLEXIBLE/ FIXED FIXED FLEXIBLE FIXED FLEXIBLE
System Travel Savings Average travel time savings for transit riders living in the corridor GOOD GOOD GOOD BEST BETTER BEST GOOD
Travel Time Transit travel time between West Baltimore and Hopkins Bayview1 GOOD GOOD BEST BETTER GOOD BEST GOOD
icon for expand connectivityExpand the reach and connectivity of the regional transit network Ridership Projected daily boardings in 2045, per mile GOOD GOOD BETTER BETTER BETTER BEST BETTER
Connections Connections to rail stations, frequent bus routes and locally operated transit systems BEST GOOD BETTER BETTER BETTER BETTER BETTER
Access To households within 1/2 mile of a station, per mile BETTER BEST GOOD BETTER BETTER BEST BEST
To students within 1/2 mile of a station, per mile GOOD BEST BETTER BETTER BETTER GOOD BETTER
To future jobs within 1/2 mile of a station, per mile GOOD GOOD GOOD BETTER BETTER BEST BEST
Image for groupsPrioritize the needs of existing transit riders and transit-critical populations Equity Access to transit-critical populations2 GOOD BEST GOOD BETTER BETTER GOOD BETTER
icon for maximizeMaximize the economic and environmental benefit of a major transit investment Sustainability Trips shifted to transit BEST BEST GOOD GOOD BETTER BETTER BETTER
Cost Capital cost $ $ $$$$ $$$ $ $$$ $
Implementation Implementation Time SHORTEST SHORTEST LONGEST MIDDLE SHORTEST MIDDLE SHORTEST
Tunneling Complexity N/A N/A HIGH MEDIUM N/A HIGH N/A

1 Total trip time, including walking to and from station

2 Sum of low-income, minority, limited English proficiency, and 65+ populations, people with disabilities, and zero-car households within 1/2 mile of a station, per mile. People/households may be counted more than once if they're part of multiple transit-critical groups.

DOWNLOAD THE COMPLETE MEASURES OF EFFECTIVENESS REPORT

VISIT OUR FAQ PAGE

ACTION ITEMS

Please review the Alternatives profile pages here. In addition to the website, you can share your thoughts by:

Icon for action item 2

Inviting us to present at your community meetings.

Icon for action item 3

Contacting the project team by email: rtp@mta.maryland.gov or phone message:
443-475-0687

Icon for action item 4

Talking with us at transit or event pop-ups in the corridor.

NEXT STEPS


WE ARE HERE
decoration for step 1
Identify Alternatives for Further Study

MDOT MTA and local jurisdictions will select a reduced set of alternatives for further study after public feedback is gathered.

Additional Analysis

The reduced set of alternatives will be narrowed to a single option after receiving additional engineering and environmental review, as well as public feedback.

Apply for Funding

MDOT MTA and its partners will develop a local funding plan and apply for funding to support design and construction once a preferred option has been confirmed.

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