Exploring Maryland Public Transportation

publictransLooking for a break from driving? Whether you want a less stressful commute, an affordable alternative to the high cost of gas and parking, or just a change of pace, Maryland has many options for public transportation. Let’s explore the different ways to get around Maryland without pulling your car out of the garage!

There are numerous rail systems in Maryland. Amtrak is a rail system that runs in 46 states and Canada.  Running along the east coast, Amtrak is a popular choice and a convenient means of business travel to New York City. It is also a fun alternative for a family traveling to Florida on vacation.  The Maryland Area Regional Commuter, known as MARC, serves a great deal of Maryland and the surrounding area. MARC has three routes that run as far north as Harford County, as far south as Union Station in Washington DC, and as far west as Martinsburg, West Virginia. Baltimore and Washington also have their own rail systems that run throughout the cities. Metrorail runs throughout Washington DC and into parts of Maryland and Virginia. It is the second busiest rail system in the United States and serves more than 700,000 people daily. With 91 stations, Metrorail makes it a cinch to get to anywhere you want in the city. The Light Rail is a Baltimore rail system. It runs from the BWI Airport area up to Hunt Valley. The Metro Subway is another Baltimore rail system. This system runs from Owings Mills to John Hopkins Hospital with twelve other stops in between.

Buses are an affordable, and often very convenient, travel option. MTA Commuter buses offer Maryland suburbs travel to Baltimore and Washington DC, making this a popular alternative for people who work in either city. MTA Commuter buses have routes throughout Maryland including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Calvert, Frederick, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s and Washington counties. Many “Park & Ride” locations make this a convenient choice. In addition to MTA, many cities and counties have their own local bus service. Metrobus gets you around Washington DC, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Charm City Circulator is Baltimore’s local bus service providing access throughout the city. Some more local bus services are TheBus, which serves Prince George’s county, Ride On, which provides service throughout Montgomery County, and RTA (Regional Transportation Agency) serving Anne Arundel, Howard and Prince George’s counties. Many cities such as Annapolis and Bethesda offer their own bus service to provide residents with safe, affordable travel throughout the city.

So, give your car a break and give public transportation a try! Keeping the car parked a day or two can have its advantages:  Less stress during your daily commute can strengthen your mental health, walking from/to the bus stop or subway station gives you much needed exercise, giving your car a break means less pollution in the environment, and no gas and parking expenses can save you some money. It’s a win-win!  Do you use public transportation? Share your tips and tricks with us in our comments section.