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Letter from Fr. Linnane to Maryland Secretary of Transportation regarding MTA BaltimoreLink planning and implementation process

| By Nick Alexopulos

Loyola University Maryland President Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., sent the following letter to Pete K. Rahn, secretary of the Maryland Department of Transportation, to express concerns about proposed eliminations and reductions to bus service near Loyola’s Evergreen campus. The service changes are included in the state’s BaltimoreLink transit plan.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Secretary Pete K. Rahn
Maryland Department of Transportation
7201 Corporate Center Drive
Hanover, Maryland 21076

Dear Secretary Rahn,

Thank you for Maryland Department of Transportation’s commitment to the MTA BaltimoreLink planning and implementation process. As an anchor institution in Baltimore City, Loyola University Maryland wants to ensure its students and employees – as well as local community residents – have transit access to and from campus so Loyola is able to continue to serve as a valuable local employer and economic engine for our state. As currently proposed, we have concerns about the BaltimoreLink “Redline” elimination of the route 11 bus line serving Charles Street approximate to our campus and reductions in linkages of the route 8 bus line serving York Road south of 39th Street.

In a survey of Loyola on-campus and public mass transit usage conducted days before closing for the holiday in December 2015, 41% of 96 student and employee respondents indicated regular usage of MTA buses, specifically the route 11 bus from Cold Spring Lane and Charles Street. On-campus resident students, who represented over 75% of survey respondents, also indicated regular usage of the number 11 bus south on Charles Street to the Marc and Amtrak at Baltimore’s Penn Station and the City of Baltimore’s Charm City Circulator Purple Line. In the current BaltimoreLink proposal, these stops are eliminated and no reasonable alternative accommodation is proposed.

In qualitative interviews with numerous employees, particularly Baltimore City residents, we learned that changes as proposed to the route 8 bus south of 39th Street negatively impact timely transit usage for many Loyola staff.  For one employee, who lives in east Baltimore, it currently takes one hour and two bus transfers to travel to work at Loyola daily for her evening shift. She estimates, given the proposed BaltimoreLink plan, and the additional walking time to bus stops (alone, at night) her transit time will increase to closer to two hours.

Again, thank you for your agency’s commitment to quality transportation service. As we all dig out from snow, we look forward to working with your agency on continued improvements to mass transportation for our state.

Sincerely,

Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J.
President
Loyola University Maryland

CC: Paul Comfort, Maryland Transit Administrator, MTA
    Michael Walk, Director of Service Development, MTA
    Hon. Senator Joan Carter Conway
    Hon. Delegate Maggie McIntosh
    Hon. Delegate Mary Washington
    Hon. Delegate Curt Anderson

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