Commuters give rail a light workout Central Light Rail Line's first business day rides without a hitch.

May 18, 1992|By Peter Jensen | Peter Jensen,Staff Writer

Light rail attracted light ridership in its first business day.

Mass Transit Administration officials said this morning the result came as no great surprise. They had predicted small crowds for the first several weeks of service as commuters adjust to the new $446.3 million Central Light Rail Line.

Still, the turnout left most parking lots only half-full and plenty of room for passengers to stretch out inside the trains.

"I don't think ridership was light, it was steady," said Dianna Rosborough.

"There were certainly no problems with anything," she said.

The system's initial 13-mile segment between Timonium and Camden Yards opened for regular service yesterday, and previously, the MTA had been using the system to provide special service for Orioles home games.

But today was the first time weekday commuters got a chance to ride to work.

"I think I'll be using it every day," said Kelly Sjolander, of Jarrettsville, who caught a light-rail train from Timonium to a downtown law firm where she is an intern. "Parking downtown is expensive, and I can avoid traffic," she said.

Transit workers were posted at every station, explaining schedules and how to use fare machines.

Not all the commuters were happy to be on board. Beginning yesterday, the MTA suspended service on its No. 18 express bus, which previously took Hunt Valley and Timonium riders directly downtown.

No. 18 now serves as a feeder bus between Hunt Valley to the Timonium light-rail station.

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