Buses to downtown Baltimore: A route to success

Buses to downtown Baltimore: A route to success

UMBC’s transit system expands

David Coursey

Assistant Opinions Editor

cours1@umbc.edu

Summary: Two new bus routes going to Downtown Baltimore were added to the UMBC transit system. They’re useful, environmentally friendly and connect UMBC’s campus to Baltimore City.

    This fall, UMBC Transit added two new bus routes connecting the campus to Downtown Baltimore. In part, the routes came out of a need to shuttle students housed at University of Maryland Baltimore to the UMBC campus for their classes. The shuttle service also provides all students and faculty a convenient way to travel downtown.

While the existence of the shuttle buses has proven useful, their use would be diminished if UMBC offered more on-campus housing options. Nonetheless, the service is a useful addition to the transit system.

The service was made possible by funds being reallocated from the now-cancelled Wave ‘N Ride bus, which was a much less needed amenity when compared to the downtown shuttles. The money is better spent on bridging the gap between UMBC’s campus and the city it neighbors.

Unfortunately, the new shuttle service is limited by its service hours. The last bus on the route leaves Baltimore at 10:55 p.m., and there are no Sunday buses. For students who want to explore the city’s nightlife, this greatly limits their options.

UMBC has its priorities straight in focusing on academic needs first, and the route does just that. If students who live in the downtown area need to get to their classes, they can take the bus and do so. Still, the chance to explore the city at night would be a welcome option.

Shuttle services offered on Sunday make sense as well. Letting students who live at UMBC explore the city on their days off would improve the “no fun” image sometimes cast onto the university.

Junior computer science major and commuter Faisel Khalidi expressed interest in the new routes. “It’s nice that it’s free, and it lets people go downtown to do things since there’s not much to do on campus,” he said.

Khalidi plans on taking the shuttle into Baltimore with his friends to discover what the city has to offer. “I live so close to Baltimore, but I never really go there,” he said.

Not only is the bus a convenient commuting option, but it’s environmentally friendly as well. Students who would otherwise drive to UMBC’s campus from Baltimore can easily hop on a bus and decrease their carbon footprint.

Some may find that these services are unnecessary, as the Maryland Transit Administration already has buses that connect UMBC and the downtown area. However, the UMBC buses are free for students and are often safer and more reliable than MTA buses.

If the UMBC transit system expands its hours to cater to the many commuters and even those who want to explore life outside of campus, it will become an even more useful service. As it stands, it is a beneficial tool for students and staff alike.