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December 6, 2010

Barhopping on the Charm City Circulator: the official numbers

Does anyone use the circulator to barhop?

When I asked a couple of weeks ago, a few of you said it stopped working too early, and then others said some South Baltimore people already refer to the purple line as the “Brewer’s Art Shuttle.”

Take a look at my story this morning. The Baltimore Department of Transportation tells me there actually are a small fraction of circulator riders who use it after 6 p.m.

On Fridays and Saturdays, they are 26 percent of total ridership for the day. In the story, several riders talked about the circulator’s benefits (it’s free!) and their frustrations with the service (we can't get drunk by midnight!), and how sometimes, if you leave early enough, they can take it to hit 12 different bars in one night and call it the “sparkulator,” like some locals did back in January.

DOT officials like Jamie Kendrick and Barry Robinson also commented. And Nate Payer, director of the Transit Riders Action Council, spoke about the importance of expanding the circulator's hours because it would help the city's nightlife industry, especially in neighborhoods like South Baltimore.

The circulator would take out the need for more parking there, he said.

“It will get more business that you otherwise would because there’s only so much space that can be allocated for parking,” he said, in a quote that didn’t make it to print. “It is about the environment to a degree, but what it’s really about is increasing economic viability.”

The full story is here.

My column about my recent bar crawl using just the circulator (stops included Nevin's, and Peters pour house, among others) is in the paper this Friday.

The Department of Transportation’s breakdown of ridership is after the jump:

Data is provided by Baltimore Department of Transportation*: 

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*As soon as I finished putting my grade school Excel skills to use, I quickly realized this chart should have been snazzier, like this. Will try for more pizzazz next time.

Photo: Parham Farahat uses the Circulator to get to Federal Hill's pubs. (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun)


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Posted by Erik Maza at 11:32 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bar stories
        

Comments

Not only should they extend the hours on weekends, but the purple line reaaaaalllllly ought to run all the way up to chaz village.

Canton-Canton-Canton!!!

Oh come TIF why would it need to go canton? None of Baltimore's top 50 bars are even over there, according to Midnight Sun.

Though there is a green line that has been on hold for awhile, does anyone know why?

Perhaps a journalist could find out.

I want to make clear that my opinions noted in the print editions regarding where future service might go were not necessarily a recommendation that the City should adopt, but were noted as better locations for expansion in contrast to service to Fort McHenry and Locust Point. While that area should have more frequent service than it does now, 10 minute headways wouldn't be the best use of our limited resources (even if the feds fund it).

Right now, the service should focus on maintaining a 10 minute frequency and reliability rather than attempting to expand service which is difficult with a very constrained revenue stream.

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Thanks! Your website has proven to be such a big help for me. All my life, I have thought of becoming a bartender. It’s such a trendy job which comes with great fun. But I couldn’t find any help anywhere, until I saw your site. Your site is better than an expensive bartending school. Thanks again.bartending schools

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at erik.maza@baltsun.com. Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.
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