Debut of Charm City Circulator in Baltimore

New buses lighten the emission load from the Charm City Circulator

The lifeblood of any great city is transportation. That’s one of the reasons cited for a new circulator bus system in Baltimore, MD. Called the Charm City Circulator (CCC), it's sustained by a fleet of 21 free shuttles that cover three routes within the city of Baltimore with convenient, reliable and eco-friendly public transportation.

The new circulator routes are intended to provide transportation for city residents, downtown employees, local students and tourists, along with anyone else who wants to get around or see the sights of Baltimore without driving their own vehicle.  The new fleet of shuttle buses are also planned to reduce congestion and greenhouse gas pollution by enticing people out of their cars. Waiting times are minimized because another shuttle bus arrives at the designated stops on each route every 10 minutes, 7 days a week, from 6:30 AM to 9 PM (to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays).

The system incorporates GPS data with predictive software to provide anticipated arrival times for the next few vehicles. There is also a live-time Bus Tracker available online, with the potential for Mobile Alerts to patrons who want to be informed of Charm City Circulator transit activities. You can try them yourself here:

The Charm City Circulator is made up of three separate routes:

— A Green Route runs from City Hall to Fells Point to Johns Hopkins

— A Purple Route runs from Penn Station to Federal Hill, and

— An Orange Route runs from Hollins Market to Harbor East.

The new Charm City Circulator is not only dedicated to providing a safe, pleasant, and cost-effective mode of public transportation linking critical parts of the city, it is focused on providing this service in the cleanest possible way.

To keep the circulator's pollution and exhaust emissions low, Baltimore transportation planners selected the DesignLine 2009 EcoSaver IV LF Hybrid Electric bus—the first time this advanced vehicle is being deployed in a major metropolitan area.

The buses will move through Baltimore's crowded streets more quickly than other traffic because of traffic engineering improvements designed to speed the buses along their routes. For example, the buses have priority over other lanes and traffic, and at busy intersections the buses will receive an early green light to give them a little head start over other traffic.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon offered her vision of a “cleaner, greener Baltimore” as part of her election campaign, and the Charm City Circulator is intended to fulfill at least a part of this promise.

To encourage greater use of the Charm City Circulator, it is free to all riders, both residents and visitors.

More later ...

Photo credit: Charm City Circulator