Why and When Riding MTA Maryland Is Better Than Driving Your Car

 

We get it, you think the bus isn’t cool and full of smelly people. That’s not true, but we’ll tackle that in another conversation. What the bus can be, is convenient! Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it to you, here are 5 cheaper, more convenient instances where the bus is hands down than a car.

 

Metro SubwayLink To Central Downtown

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Downtown parking can be expensive in any city, Baltimore is no exception. Save yourself the headache, and money by parking at one of MTA’s 7 Park and Rides. Average travel time downtown is 12 minutes with a price tag ranging from $1.80-$4.60.

 

ExpressLink From White Marsh Or Middle River

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This one hits home because I’ve driven them personally. (Yes that’s me pictured, minus the 20 pounds I gained during the pandemic) The #120 or #160 Express terminate in Downtown Baltimore with both routes starting from 2 of Baltimore’s most heavily populated suburbs in White Marsh, and Middle River/Essex.

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What’s cool about the #120 and #160 is that the bus route is already the quickest way into downtown. It spends the majority of its time on 95-South just like everyone else traveling in town. This is a clear case of “you are going that way anyway”. 

If you’re driving tolls alone will come to $8, gas will cost about $7 and parking will cost about $10. That’s a generous $23 bucks a day in a perfect world.

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Not worth it, get an express day pass for $5, park at The White Marsh or Essex Park and Ride for free, and enjoy a safe MTA ride while you watch me talk about buses on Tik Tok

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 Light Rail Link To Baltimore Ravens Games

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Another no-brainer. We have a super-rich football culture here, baseball….ehhh not so much..but that’s another conversation. But ravens games are a weekly holiday here with 70,000 people all flocking (pun intended) to one location.

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Russell Street is great traffic-wise, but Ravens parking is pricey. Expect to pay anywhere from $40-$100.

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Or you can park at one of MTA’s many free light rail stations on the North or South end, and catch the train literally to the front door of the stadium for $1.80

Did I mention you can duck traffic out?

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CityLink Silver To Federal Hill

Federal Hill is one of the coolest places in Baltimore, it’s like a college town within a small neighborhood. Come to think of it, that is exactly what Federal Hill is! A ton of cool bars and restaurants that share the same block with rowhouse’s. However, because of its location, Federal Hill has in my opinion probably the worst parking in Baltimore.

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My advice, park at Hanover Park and Ride, which is only 8 minutes away, and take a quick 13-minute commute to Federal Hill on The CityLink Silver. Now I know commuting to a party may be an unfamiliar concept, but it’s actually not.

 It was strange to me at first too, until I went to Miami and rode the 120 Max alongside other party-goers. Chalk it up to my “Northeastern thinking”

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Marc Train To and From Washington DC

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If you’re new here, let me introduce you to Maryland’s favorite beltway, 495 which at one point helped the Baltimore-Washington region achieve the 4th worst traffic in the world. 

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Google Maps estimated that the trip time from Baltimore to Washington right now is anywhere from 60-120 minutes

That’s because even Google knows 495 is way too unpredictable. To put The DMV in perspective for out of towners, after 8 pm you can probably get to DC or even Virginia within 45-50 minutes. But anytime before that?

Nope.

Volunteering to commute to or from DC during rush hour is like volunteering to chew glass while drinking sand.

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Avoid all of that and catch MTA’s Marc Train line. Many stations have free parking which is a much better offer than attempting to find DC parking.  The commute time via Marc train is barely over an hour, and a one-way train ticket only costs about $8. Much cheaper than the price of peace, that commuting on 495 costs you.

If you’re considering riding MTA considering downloading their Charmpass app, available in your phone’s app store. It’s quicker, easier, and more convenient than using old-school paper passes and tickets.

You can purchase single trips that come with a free 90-minute transfer, express tickets, day passes, and commuter tickets for the Marc Train to Washington DC.

To view our tutorial on how to use the Charmpass to its full potential click here!

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Not to mention your helping the planet by using a paperless pass!

I swear by this app because it just makes things easier. You buy a pass, show the driver and sit down! No looking for loose change, no looking for bills, no holding up the line.

Not to mention, it’s 2021 we can buy a car from our cell phone nowadays, surely we can use them to buy bus fare.

Scared to utilize your credit card on an app? Understandable, Charmpass allows you to connect directly to Paypal, ensuring that all of your transactions are secured, and safe.

For more information on MTA, its routes and schedules visit them at www.mtamaryland.gov

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