Transit Deserts: Baltimore City, Maryland

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Journal Article

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The Maryland Department of Transportation, Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) launched a revamped public transportation system known as the BaltimoreLink in the Summer of 2017. The purpose of this research is two-fold, first to locate transit deserts in Baltimore City and secondly, to determine if the implementation of BaltimoreLink increased access to public transportation for transit-dependent populations. The analysis will include calculating z-scores for transit demand, supply, and gap in order to standardize the metrics. Transit demand is defined as persons who are most likely to ride public transportation and transit supply is defined as public transit service based on the number of routes and bus stops present and the frequency of service in each census block group. The transit gap will be determined by subtracting the transit demand from the transit supply. The results show that the implementation of BaltimoreLink did not increase access to public transit for transit-dependent populations. The gaps between the pre and post BaltimoreLink expanded which decreased the accessibility to public transit. The study was able to identify transit deserts or areas that are in need of transit services and resources. Reallocated resources alone do not yield an increase in ridership nor revenue. MTA must look at neighborhoods holistically and provide transit services that are efficient, reliable, safe, and predictable.