Circulator continues to post gains
The Charm City Circulator, the free city-run shuttle introduced this year, continues to post strong ridership numbers, with more than 160,000 boarding on its two routes in July, according to the Baltimore Department of Transportation.
Meanwhile, the north-south Purple Route became the busier of the two routes, pulling ahead of the east-west Orange Route in its first full month in operation. City figures showed 81,887 boardings on the Purple Route and 72,836 on the Orange.
"We're thrilled and it's exciting beyond our wildest expectation," said Jamie Kendrick, deputy director of transportation for the city.
The Orange Route, which runs from Hollins Market to Central Avenue, was launched in January. The Purple Route, from Penn Station to Ostend Street in South Baltimore, was inaugurated in June.
Kendrick said the ridership was running at levels more than twice the 2,400-2,800 a day projected by the city. He said the Circulator, which had given 463,000 rides by the end of July, will likely board its 500,000th passenger by Aug. 15.
In terms of boardings, the busiest stop on the Purple Route is the Inner Harbor, with 9,081 in July. The busiest on the Orange Route is the Hollins Market, with 7,435. Kendrick said the high total for the Hollins Market is an indication that many people from that neighborhood are using it instead of Maryland Transit Administration buses.
Kendrick acknowledged that the Circulator had problems a few weeks ago, when temperatures were running in the 90s and above 100, with maintaining its scheduled 10-minute intervals. However, he said a software fix has been found that has alleviated the problem, which had left some riders complaining of waits of a half-hour or more.