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FYI Mass Transit Light Rail problems


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You may luck out and not encounter this, but...

Currently, Light Rail is on bare-bones service. That means:

  • One car (two articulated cabs) per run...
  • ...which are running late, by default 40 minutes...
  • ...and is automatically full (to Japanese/Chinese standards!)...
  • ...and the Penn-to-Camden train is canceled (Bus service to Mt. Royal).

This is due to a discovery of cracks in the wheels, causing a manditory inspection of the 52 car fleet. This also means... it won't be until late July until it's supposedly done.

My suggestion: If you're flying in on Thursday or Friday and was planning on taking Light Rail up to the hotel, don't. Take the shuttle to the BWI Amtrak/MARC train station and get off at Penn Station. It will (I believe) cost you $5, so check the MTA Website.

From Amtrak Penn Station, exit at the front (South, not Light Rail) side, turn left to St. Paul Street, and take ether the 3, 61, or 64 buses down to Pratt street. The 3 lets off at the opposite side of the 1st Mariner Arena (in relation to the Light Rail). The 61 and 64 let off about a block East of the convention center. (This is also where the shuttle bus for Mt. Royal is, but trust me, unless you want to reenact the Japanese subways, avoid.)

AND FINALLY! KEEP AN EYE ON THE MTA MARYLAND WEBSITE! http://www.mtamaryland.com will list the overall status. There most likely be a press release when service is back to normal.

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The trains are only full during rush hour. the rest of the time they are pretty empty. They have been surprisingly empty for the O's games this year...

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Tell me about it! I take the stupid light rail to work every day. Thank goodness I'm getting a ride down to the con... I should really get a car. :<

Packed like SARDINES. And any emergency shuttle buses always forget Woodberry.

Oh well. "The MTA is HORRIBLY UNRELIABLE" is, sadly, nothing new...

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Hmm, I wouldn't say late July so quickly...I looked at their PR and it doesn't give any indication of a completion date, but yeah, this could be a problem come the Artscape and Otakon weekends. Thankfully, I don't have to take the Light Rail every day to get to and from college, but I usually take it to and from the City.

While on the subject, please be aware that several MTA buses may have route changes coming this summer as well, including combining the M3 and M8 into a new #54 line, splitting the M10 into the #58 and #60 lines, and adding a new stop to all Jumpers Hole #14 buses at the new Wal-Mart Supercenter off of I-97 and Quarterfield.

And back to the Light Rail situation, you can't really fault the MTA for any of this. The Light Rail system has had a near-flawless track record in terms of safety (timeliness is a different story), and they try to do everything possible to keep it that way. If this rant is deafening to anyone here, then I'll understand.

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Look, at least the service is running, unlike a few years ago when everything was shut down for a much needed overhaul.

I think they'll be done in time. They're probably pretty much working around the clock to avoid the passenger drop that happened after the double tracking was done.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Actually, if this will still be a problem when Otakon rolls around, just hop on the #3 and you won't need to get off at 1st Mariner because the final stop is on Charles Street, right across the street from the Baltimore Convention Center.

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the MTA does a decent job compensating for the trains, if they're out, with the MTA buses. You'll have to plan ahead and make a little more time if you take the buses instead. I'd imagine the MTA will try to get the trains running asap since they play a large role in innercity commuting :lol:

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  • 3 weeks later...
it better be working, the amtrak station is so far from the convention center.

If you're coming in via Penn Station, you can catch the light rail (it should be back to normal by the con) or get a cab to your hotel. If the weather isn't too swampy, you could even walk - most of the hotels are more or less a straight shot down Charles Street, and while it's a far distance, it's essentially all downhill from the train station.

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Actually, from what I've read, they're pretty much good to go. The Penn LR trains will start back up this Sunday. No worries.

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