10 Public Transit Options to Use Until Teleportation

Hi guys! Intersession is going amazingly; my classes are really fun. I’ve had a lot of reading to do, but I’ve still been able to explore Baltimore.

I’ve come to the realization that I love the public transportation available in Baltimore and am devoting three blog posts to it. Not only are there a wide range of transportation options for everyone’s needs, but it was recently rated #7 in the country even before Oakland, Seattle, and Los Angeles. So, to help you convince you, please take this quiz to find out what public transit option you are. If you’re one of those non-believers who are going to complain that a quiz cannot tell you something like what kind of public transportation you are– tell it to the makers of “What Cheese are you?” quiz too while you’re at it.

What’s your favorite color/color combination out of these choices?

  1. Yellow with a black X
  2. Yellow
  3. Yellow with black stripes
  4. Blue and white
  5. Green
  6. Sea Blue
  7. Blue
  8. White

Given you have a free day to do whatever you want, which of these choices is most appealing?

  1. Taking a walk over many different terrains (roads, bridges, highways)
  2. Riding in the passenger seat on a road trip!
  3. Going back to my elementary school days and finger painting
  4. Volunteering at a hospital and/or going to a symphony concert
  5. Volunteering to beautify a park or encouraging people to recycle
  6. Going to the National Aquarium to see all the little fishies
  7. Going to see some caverns
  8. People watching at a local coffee shop or movie theater

How much is cost a factor in your travel plans?

  1. I’m only willing to pay $1.60 each way including transfers.
  2. Um… I’m willing to spend as much as possible to get to my location quickly. Plus I’ll give a tip.
  3. I just want to have to show that I have a college ID.
  4. Free!
  5. Free! and a lesser cost on our carbon footprint would be amazing too!
  6. Eh… it’s not that important.  I just want to be able to explore with the fish.
  7. A 1.60 please for each time I go down under.
  8. I’ll pay $1.60 for each ride.

What would the social scene be like on your preferred mode of transportation?

  1. I’d like so many different people- people wanting to go fly on a plane to people that want to go watch the Orioles win to people that have conventions to go to.
  2. I’d like it to be pretty personal. I’d really only like me and the conductor so I can tell him/her exactly where to go.
  3. College kids! I want to meet people from Goucher, Towson, MICA, and other nearby colleges.
  4. All people involved with Johns Hopkins. I’d love to see professors, students, and medical students too!
  5. People that are committed to helping our environment like me!
  6. People that like to get wet. And fish, of course.
  7. People from all over Baltimore County
  8. All people imaginable.

Which number includes your favorite places?

  1. The airport! Actually, I love transportation so a long ride on anything would be great
  2. Outside Penn Station
  3. Schools- my elementary school and other colleges
  4. Johns Hopkins
  5. Recycling Center
  6. The sea, pond, ocean, river, creek, and swimming pool
  7. Malls
  8. Everywhere imaginable

Tally up your scores, counting how many answers you have for each number.

If you have mostly ones, you are the light rail. You, the light rail, are like a train that’s a bit slower. You hold less people than a train. However, you can go on the road like a car, but also can ride tracks like a train. You’re a bit faster than a tram though.

Kate’s Notable Stops: BWI Airport, University of Baltimore/Mount Royal (transfer spot for Penn Station too), Centre Street (a short walk from Peabody), Convention Center (short walk from the Inner Harbor), Camden Yards, and Timonium (Maryland State Fairgrounds (this year from 8/26/2011 – 9/5/2011))

Cost: $1.60 to your final destination (including transfers)

Ticketing: There are ticket machines at each station that require exact change or a credit card. You can also buy a Charm Card (http://www.mtacharmcard.com/) and load it to use on the local bus, light rail, and metro. It may seem that you don’t have to buy a ticket because they don’t always check it, but it’s based on Berlin-style ticket checking. MTA workers can give you a criminal offense (and you know that never looks good on a resume) if they find you without a ticket.

Why it’s amazing: The light rail covers a wide distance of Baltimore. It’s clean and cheap and operates on the weekends. It’s a great quick way to get to BWI Airport from Penn Station or Camden Yards.

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • This is not the fastest way in the world (a trip to BWI from Penn Station is about 40 minutes to an hour).
  • The light rail doesn’t go straight to Penn Station- you must wait for the transfer at University of Baltimore/Mount Royal.

If you have mostly twos, then you’re the taxi. Charming and always near major hubs of transportation, the taxi is a fast way to get where you want. You’re so desired that people will step into the middle of traffic to haul you!


Kate’s Notable Stops: Taxis are everywhere in Baltimore, but they tend to clump near BWI and Penn Station. They are also a bunch by the campus bookstore.

Cost: Depends on where you are going

Ticketing: N/A

Why it’s amazing: You can go anywhere you want: Penn Station, the Museum of Dentistry, a random street corner, and my favorite place in the world (the Godiva shop). You also will have a fast journey– because no time will be spent being lost or waiting for the wrong bus (although that can be an adventure as you’ll see in JHU_Sydney‘s bus blog). The taxi cab drivers can also spark great conversations.

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • The taxi cab drivers do not give out change larger than $10 dollars, so make sure you don’t have a $20 dollar bill for a taxi cab ride.
  • Taxis are expensive, so I don’t use that often, but they are great option late at night or when other transportation isn’t running.

If you’re mostly threes, you’re the collegetown shuttle. College kids from all over Baltimore can ride this shuttle to go all over Baltimore. The best part about this- you can revisit your childhood days as the shuttle is a yellow school bus.

And of course, the only picture I had was when the Collegetown was part of a social action campaign. But, it's normally yellow!

Kate’s Notable Stops: Towson, Towson Town, Belvedere Square, Inner Harbor, MICA, Goucher, Loyola

Cost: Free! :)

Ticketing: You just need a Baltimore college ID. This is not the time to leave your J-Card.

Why it’s amazing: It goes to the major tourist spots in Baltimore and allows you to visit other colleges. For example, MICA has great exhibits all the time at their galleries. It’s also free (and that will become a reason for greatness when you become college students, prospies).

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • Check the schedule before you leave on your adventure because it doesn’t go to all the stops everyday.

If you’re mostly fours, you’re the JHMI shuttle. The JHMI shuttle takes you to all of Johns Hopkins campus (well aside from the Washington DC campus unfortunately) in Blue Jay pride in a blue and white bus.

YAY maps!

Kate’s Notable Stops: Penn Station, Peabody, Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health

Cost: Free! :)

Ticketing: N/A

Why it’s amazing: It goes to Penn Station and the other campuses for free. You can go to Peabody and see an orchestra play or go to the Johns Hopkins Children Center to volunteer. Oh and did I mention it’s free?

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • Check the schedule before you leave on your adventure because it doesn’t leave every 15 minutes, but more random intervals (sometimes leaving every 10 minutes, sometimes every 30 minutes)

If you’re mostly fives, then you’re the same transportation as me: the Charm City Circulator. Since you’re green, you save 2.25 tons of greenhouse gases a year and have 40% less carbon emissions released than a normal bus.

My love.

Kate’s Notable Stops: Inner Harbor (National Aquarium, Little Italy), Washington Monument, Penn Station, Federal Hill, and all over Baltimore

Cost: Free! :)

Ticketing: N/A

Why it’s amazing: First of all, it improves the environment. Second of all, it goes to the Inner Harbor from Penn Station for free. Third of all, it comes every 10 minutes (and there is a sign that tells when the next and the shuttle after that are coming to the minute. Fourth of all, it looks sleek and cool. Fifth of all, it’s free.

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • The Charm City Circulator is super easy and super fun to ride. I have no qualms.

If you’re mostly sixes, then you’re boats. Fun fact: Baltimore is on a Harbor (hence the name of the neighborhood Inner Harbor), so there’s a vast amount of ocean for you to explore and hang out with the fishies.

Kate’s Notable Stops: Maritime Park, Tide Point, Science Center, Aquarium, Fort McHenry, Captain James Landing


Water Taxi Harbor Connector- Free!

Baltimore Water Taxi- $10 (all day service)

Paddle Boats- $11 for a half hour (JHU_Lucie talked about this)

Swimming- Free, but you may get hit by a boat

Ticketing: N/A

Why it’s amazing: Get out on the water and experience the wind in your hair. You can work out on the paddle boats and explore Baltimore through the water.

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • Make sure it’s sunny or the water will be cold and your fish friends might hide.

If you are mostly sevens, you are the metro (or as my dad insists the subway)! You get to go underground and above ground. This route passes more malls than any of the public transit options.

Kate’s Notable Stops: Owings Mill (Mall), Reisterstown Plaza (similar to a mall), Mondawmin (Mall- Baltimore’s oldest actually), Shot Tower (Inner Harbor), Johns Hopkins Hospital

Cost: $1.60

Ticketing: You can buy tickets at the station or get a charm card and put money on it and swipe it at the station.

Why it’s amazing: You can get your fill of malls near Baltimore and during peak hours, one comes every 8 minutes. I love the metro, so using it to go shopping is definitely a perk. It’s also a way to get out of Baltimore without leaving Baltimore county.

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • Get the charm card.

If you are mostly eights, then you are the public bus. This is definitely the most convenient and is most commonplace in Baltimore. This will take you almost everywhere in the city. There is even a bus from JHU to the Greyhound station and Penn Station.

Kate’s Notable Stops: The MTA bus goes just about everywhere I need to go. I would go to the MTA routes for more information.

Cost: $1.60 each ride

Ticketing: You can

Why it’s amazing: The buses run all over Baltimore, getting you to where you need to go in an inexpensive manner. They are clean and efficient. They’ll never replace my love for the Charm City Circulator, but it’s up in my favorites.

Kate’s Tidbits:

  • Have exact change (because it only accepts exact change) or get a charm card!

Other modes of transportation:

Walking- Get some exercise and explore the city too (just make sure to be safe as well)

They have an awesome website too!

Zip Cars- Sign up for a membership with a zip car and book a car (gas and insurance included). You have access to a car 24/7.

I haven’t even exhausted all the transportation in Baltimore, but there is obviously tons of services to use (many of them free or inexpensive). There is really no excuse to not go out in Baltimore. My friends in Washington DC have to pay a lot of money to get from place to place, but I’m glad Baltimore has ways to get out and explore without breaking the bank.

Posted in Advice, Baltimore, Intersession |

5 Responses to 10 Public Transit Options to Use Until Teleportation

  1. Kate T. says:

    Thanks guys! I’m from a really small town with no public transportation, so I guess I’m making up for it! :)

  2. JHU_Dominique says:

    wow./..this post is great, the fact you’ve done all of this in your first sem is crazy! i don’t think i have and i’m a jr AND i live here! lol fantastic!

  3. Noah G. says:

    This is seriously one of the best posts I’ve seen. I literally did not know half of this info. Thank you so much! :D

  4. Kate T. says:

    Sorry- Johns Hopkins. I will next time!

  5. Johns Hopkins says:

    Thou didst not indicate my favorite form of transport. My trusty horse and carriage, driven by my man Jeremiah.