The Maryland Transit Administration has proposed eliminating eight commuter bus routes and scaling back 26 more as the state transportation department copes with a more-than-$3 billion hole in its six-year budget.

Gov. Wes Moore announced at an event last month in Annapolis hosted by The Baltimore Banner that his administration would shift $150 million from the state’s general fund to the Maryland Department of Transportation’s fiscal year 2025 budget to avoid some cuts that had been proposed.

The one-time infusion provided $28 million to the MTA to continue service on its most-used commuter bus lines. Before the stopgap measure, all commuter bus routes faced the chopping block — which would have saved $64 million a year.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Still, riders will likely see some changes. The agency has proposed eliminating the following routes:

Two other routes — No. 215 between Baltimore and Annapolis and No. 250 between Kent Island/Davidsonville and Washington, D.C. — would not be affected by the cuts. The remaining 26 commuter bus routes run by the MTA would all face daily service reductions.

“We recognize that the Commuter Bus service reduction will have a significant impact on many Marylanders,” said MTA Administrator Holly Arnold in an emailed press release. “We encourage riders to visit our website to learn about alternate transit options.”

The agency will hold three virtual and two in-person public meetings to get feedback on the proposed changes. Dates, times and links to the virtual meetings that will take place in March are available here. In-person events are scheduled for 6-8 p.m. on March 26 and 27 in Annapolis and Ellicott City respectively.

The proposed service changes would take effect on July 1.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Commuter buses, which cover longer distances between towns and make fewer stops than local buses, fall into their own service category. The MTA has made clear that core Baltimore service, including CityLink buses, light rail and the Metro subway, were not in danger of cuts due to the state’s budget issues.

Commuter bus ridership numbers have struggled to come back to pre-pandemic levels. In a press release, the MTA said that ridership across its 36 routes has dropped by more than half.

Daniel Zawodny covers transportation for the The Baltimore Banner as a corps member with Report For America. He is a Baltimore area native and graduated with his master's degree in journalism from American University in 2021. He is bilingual in English and Spanish and previously covered immigration issues. 

More From The Banner