The Maryland Transit Administration, which limited service in March on its buses, subway, light rail and trains to curb the spread of the coronavirus, will begin the process of restoring more normal service in July, officials said Tuesday.
Local buses, the Baltimore Metro and light rail will resume their regular summer weekday and weekend schedules beginning Sunday, July 12, the MTA announced.
Express bus service and LocalLinks 38 and 92 will remain suspended until further notice, the agency said. Both routes primarily serve students.
Front-door boarding on MTA buses will resume, but riders are encouraged to use CharmPass and CharmCard for contact-free payment and keep drivers healthy, the MTA said.
Seating won’t be restricted to require social distancing, but “riders can do their part by maintaining social distance where possible,” the MTA said.
Operators may bypass stops to limit crowding on buses, the MTA said.
The MARC Train’s Penn, Camden and Brunswick lines will resume their regularly scheduled service, beginning Monday, July 13. The commuter bus will operate on an “S” schedule beginning that day, and regular service is set to resume on July 27, the MTA said.
The MTA “recognizes the vital role transit plays in providing access to jobs, schools, healthcare and recreation to the Baltimore region,” said Administrator Kevin Quinn. “As [the agency] resumes more normal transit service, we are committed to making sure the safety of our riders and employees remains our highest priority.”
Face coverings will continue to be required on all MTA services, and the agency is distributing 89,000 cloth face coverings received from the Federal Transit Administration at transit locations throughout the Baltimore area, officials said. Driver shields will continue to be in use, and enhanced disinfecting procedures will take place at all stations and vehicles, “including high-passenger touchpoint areas.”
The state transit agency is also retrofitting its buses with plastic seats and air ionizers that further clean the air inside the bus, officials said.
Passengers are asked to practice social distancing wherever possible, wash hands frequently and avoid touching their faces, avoid people who exhibit flu symptoms, and cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm.