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Baltimore Water Taxi


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#1 NewMarketSean

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:32 AM

This is an idea of mine, based on the recent stories that the city is looking for a project to draw more people (locals especially) to the Inner Harbor. Ideas kicked around have been a Ferris Wheel and a skyride line that could connect various parts of the waterfront, both of which, IMO, are lame.

Here is my planned route for the trolley.

http://maps.google.c... ... 6358&msa=0

It would connect several popular neighborhoods and areas of the city that are lacking in reliable transit: Ft McHenry, Locust Point, Federal Hill, Inner Harbor, Harbor East, Fells Point and Canton. People who work in Federal Hill, Fells Point, and Canton work Downtown or in Harbor East could get there in about 10 mins. My sister makes the commute from Federal Hill to Harbor East daily and drives. It takes her around 30 mins to drive less than 2 miles.

Currently, the Charm City Circulator is enjoying success, however a connection is needed to get from Federal Hill to Harbor East/Fells Point. Despite it being free, the bus still has a negative connotation in Baltimore and transfers are always a pain, especially in bad weather. MTA buses, however, run at 30 min headways and can be dicey based on their unreliability and the people who use them. There are no singular routes that connect these neighborhoods, involving transfers as well.

The Red Line, a planned east-west LRT line is hung up in planning stages and resistance from Edmonson Village and Canton, place that will be impacted by its construction and the road space it will take up. Other critics complain about the street-level path it will take through those neighborhoods which will make it nothing more than a slower bus on tracks. A tunnel through downtown will be expensive and the failure to use the Charles Center platform that was built for a second transit line are also routinely cited. Add to that an estimated $2 billion price-tag that is bound to increase as most transit projects go over budget.

Meanwhile...

Streetcars have more than charm and romance going for them, however. At $10 million to $15 million per mile to build, they are 20 percent cheaper than light-rail and are scaled down to serve city centers or specific neighborhoods.

Read more: Return of the streetcar - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburg... ... z1n1vTkKBg



A trolley could serve the tourist and local market of Baltimore. Especially if it's a classic trolley, similar to what is used in New Orleans or San Francisco. If not, a modern trolley similar to what Portland has would suffice.

The question, as always, is who would pay for it? Based on the calculations above, it would cost $75-100 million (even that sounds low) just to lay the tracks, not including the costs for equipment and upkeep. However, if a private company could foot the bill, and charge $1-2 dollars a ride, I think this could be a huge success.

Cities like Washington DC, Portland, and Little Rock, are either building streetcar lines or maintaining lines. In Europe, cities like Lisbon, Vienna and Prague are jam-packed with trams and trolleys that are always crowded.

If Baltimore is looking for ways to revitalize it's downtown area and the Inner Harbor, why not build a streetcar line to take advantage of not only the tourist market, but the local market as well?

Your thoughts?
I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#2 Mackus

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:53 AM

I'd use it.

I don't currently use any of the public transportation in the city, but if there was an easy way to get from Canton to Fed Hill, I'd use that pretty frequently. Right now it's about a $12-20 cab ride, depending on the time.

#3 NewMarketSean

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:05 AM

Yup.

As someone who makes it down to Baltimore about 2 times a month on average, I have only been to Canton maybe once or twice in my lifetime. Its isolated location and difficult parking situation make it less desirable than Mt Vernon, Federal Hill or Fells Point, for me. However, if there was an easy way to get there from downtown, I would go there much more often.

Right now the only way to get from Federal Hill to Canton via mass transit is the #7 or #10 bus and that still includes a bit of walking and a 25 min trip.
I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#4 Coker

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 08:24 PM

I'd use it.

I don't currently use any of the public transportation in the city, but if there was an easy way to get from Canton to Fed Hill, I'd use that pretty frequently. Right now it's about a $12-20 cab ride, depending on the time.


Absolutely. The public transportation in the city is a joke. Something along the lines of NMS' plan would do wonders for the city and for everybody else.

#5 DJ MC

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 10:17 PM

I think the first priority should be transportation to get people into the city.

http://www.roadstoth....com/BRRTS.html

That's the original plan. They've built, essentially, the "north" and "south" lines as the Light Rail, and the "northwest" line as the Metro. Parts of the "west" and "southeast" lines are in the Red Line plans. I think they ought to build the lines to White Marsh and Catonsville, too.

A downtown trolley would be nice, but with the Connector it isn't as much of a priority. Though if, as Sean suggests, it could be built and run privately, that would be a really good idea.

#6 NewMarketSean

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 10:11 AM

Everyone says that Baltimore's mass transit is a joke, but I disagree. It is severely lacking when compared to other cities and it could be a lot better, but for a city of Baltimore's size, it handles a decent amount of riders each day. I think it recently ranked 20th in ridership recently and it's growing. The Quick Bus routes are great. Limited stops and more frequent headways. I'd hope the city would employ more QB routes as the only permanent ones right now are the #40 and #48. If you have the chance, take the #40 from the end of route 70 (you'll have to walk down the entrance ramp to the Forest Park bus stop, however) and you'll be downtown in about 20 mins -- faster than it would take the light rail to go from North Linthicum (edit) to Camden Yards or the metro from Owings Mills to downtown.

The eastern part of Baltimore City & County needs a good, reliable line to downtown. Right now there are only local buses. Extending the green line (metro) out to White Marsh would be a start. I'd actually rather see that happen than the red line.

It's a shame that the original transit plan was not completed, but this is Baltimore. Nothing ever really gets completed, and if it is, it's usually done in the cheapest, least effective way possible, which explains the single-tracked light rail when it first opened and a metro that went nowhere.
I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#7 NewMarketSean

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Posted 04 September 2014 - 03:01 PM

#40 flies when the stretch of the "Highway to Nowhere" is open, as it is now.

 

Driving to the games down Route 40 is also a breeze since that stretch of road is open. Much better than then CF that I95 is right now with all the road work around Russell Street.


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?

#8 DJ MC

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 07:27 AM

New water taxi, courtesy of Kevin Plank

https://twitter.com/...652550292803584

Nice design, and fantastic logo.
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#9 NewMarketSean

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Posted 08 November 2016 - 09:06 AM

Look great but those black boats are going to be miserable during the summer.


I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?




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