ALTERNATIVES AT A GLANCE

Alternative 1

Light Rail Transit from Lutherville to University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) via York Road/Greenmount Avenue.

 
Alternative 2

Bus Rapid Transit from Lutherville to University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC) via York Road/Greenmount Avenue.

 
Alternative 3

Bus Rapid Transit from Towson to Harbor East, via York Road/Greenmount Avenue.

 
Alternative 4

Heavy Rail Transit (Subway) from Towson to Port Covington, via York Road/Greenmount Avenue.

 
Alternative 5

Bus Rapid Transit from Towson to Port Covington, via York Road/Greenmount Avenue.

 
Alternative 6

Light Rail Transit from Lutherville to Otterbein, via Goucher Boulevard, Loch Raven Boulevard.

 
Alternative 7

Bus Rapid Transit from Towson to Harbor East, via Joppa Road, Loch Raven Boulevard.

EXPLORE THE ALTERNATIVES

HOW WE GOT HERE

DETERMINED PROJECT GOALS

In Spring / Summer 2021, we developed a set of corridor-specific goals and objectives based on input from local jurisdictions and members of the public through conversations and surveys. We used these goals and objectives to evaluate potential routes, modes, and service characteristics (including station locations and frequency). Project goals were to:

Increase mobility and access to jobs, services, and other opportunities in the region.
Create strategic connection to multi-modal transportation options locally and regionally.
Center equity as a core consideration.
Support the region's economic competitiveness and strategic growth.
Support the region’s sustainability goals.

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 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:

ALTERNATIVES

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

 

 

Mode

LRT

BRT

BRT

HRT

BRT

LRT

BRT

 

 

Endpoints

Lutherville - UMMC

Lutherville - UMMC

Towson - Harbor East

Towson - Port Covington

Towson - Port Covington

Lutherville - Otterbein

Towson - Harbor East

 

 

Length

11.6

11.5

9.2

10.5

10.4

12.5

12.6

 

 

Number  of Stations

21

33

28

9

30

25

32

 

 

Average Station Spacing (miles)

0.6

0.3

0.3

1.2

0.3

0.5

0.4

Goal

Theme

Measure of Effectiveness

Comparison

Comparison

Comparison

Comparison

Comparison

Comparison

Comparison

icon for improved connectivity

Increase mobility and access to jobs, services, and other opportunities in the region

Reliability

Percent of dedicated or separated guideway

GOOD

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

Fixed or Flexible Guideway    

FIXED

FLEXIBLE

FLEXIBLE

FIXED

FLEXIBLE

FIXED

FLEXIBLE

Travel Time Savings

Transit travel time savings between Towson and Downtown Baltimore (minutes)

BEST

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

BETTER

GOOD

GOOD

Access

Households within 1/2 mile of a station, per mile

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

GOOD

BEST

BETTER

BETTER

Student population within 1/2 mile of a station per mile

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

GOOD

BEST

GOOD

BETTER

Future jobs within 1/2 mile of a station per mile

BETTER

BEST

BEST

GOOD

BETTER

BETTER

BETTER

icon for expand connectivity

Create strategic connection to multi-modal transportation options locally and regionally

Connections

Connections to rail stations, frequent bus routes, and locally operated transit routes

BETTER

BEST

BETTER

GOOD

GOOD

BETTER

GOOD

Additional future jobs accessible by transit within 45 minutes

BEST

BETTER

BETTER

GOOD

GOOD

GOOD

BETTER

Image for groups

Center equity as a core consideration

Equity 1

All transit-critical populations within 1/2 mile of a station, per mile

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

GOOD

BETTER

BETTER

BETTER

icon for maximize

Support the region's economic competitiveness and strategic growth

Cost

Capital cost

$$$

$

$

$$$

$

$$

$

Development Opportunity

Transit-Oriented Development and Opportunity Zones within 1/2 mile of station

BETTER

GOOD

GOOD

GOOD

BEST

BETTER

BETTER

Implementation

Implementation time

MIDDLE

SHORTEST

SHORTEST

LONGEST

SHORTEST

MIDDLE

SHORTEST

Bridge and Tunnel Complexity

MEDIUM

N/A

N/A

HIGH

N/A

MEDIUM

N/A

Image for groups

Support the regions sustainability goals.

Ridership

Projected daily boardings in 2045, per mile

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

GOOD

BEST

BETTER

BETTER

Sustainability

Zero-car households within ½ mile of a station, per mile

BETTER

BETTER

BETTER

GOOD

BETTER

BETTER

BEST

1 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 and provide your feedback by November 7. In addition to the website, you can share your thoughts by:

Icon for action item 1

Attending the Virtual Public Meeting on September 22 or October 3. Click here to register.

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 and local jurisdictions will use public feedback to compare options and develop alternatives for further study in the next phase of this project.

Additional Analysis

The alternatives in the next study will receive additional engineering and environmental analysis and public input to narrow down to a single option.

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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