Park-and-ride smooth and easy Bus trip to stadium proves 'certainly more relaxing' and, at $6, a bargain, too

August 30, 1998|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Michael Gill took the park-and-ride bus from Glen Burnie to the Ravens' new stadium on the strong advice of his aunt, Linda Shipp.

Chris Northcutt said she kind of stumbled into the park-and- ride journey from Glen Burnie to the stadium.

Tom Frock made the park-and-ride trip from Glen Burnie out of a habit developed when Baltimore's football team played at Memorial Stadium.

The bus left on time at 5 p.m. and traveled the beltway to Interstate 95 to Washington Boulevard to a lot at Ostend and Ridgely streets. At 5: 10, it was already turning off I-95 onto dTC cluttered Washington Boulevard, which slowed the journey considerably with one stoplight after another amid a lot of traffic.

At 5: 18, the parking lot at 700 West Ostend St. and 1300 Ridgely St. was a reality.

It took another six minutes to walk a block and a half to the stadium, where the journey was deemed a success.

At the end of the pleasant, stress-free 24-minute commute to Gate D at the stadium, it really didn't matter a whole lot to these three Ravens fans why they had taken park-and-ride.

They all said they had struck a big-time bargain for $6. The tickets were purchased leisurely before boarding the bus.

Gill, 34, was especially happy that he had listened to his aunt, who lives in Glen Burnie.

Gill is a Prince George's County fireman who lives in Lusby in Calvert County. He had to drive 90 minutes with his daughter Rebecca, 5, from his home just to reach the Glen Burnie MVA lot.

Shipp accompanied Gill and his daughter on the ride to the stadium and explained why she championed the bus over light rail.

"It's not so bad going to the game on the light rail, but trying to come back can be a major problem," she said. "If you're lucky enough to get on a car, you can get shoved tightly into your seat."

Gill, proudly wearing a No. 98 Tony Siragusa jersey, obviously was happy to avoid hassles like the ones encountered by many light rail riders that night.

"It was certainly a lot more relaxing on the bus," Gill said, even before he knew of the light rail problems that would occur. "And it was even kind of fun."

Northcutt, 51, is a store manager for JoAnn Fabrics in Glen Burnie and was making only her second trip to a football game in Baltimore.

"We went once before and took the park-and-ride," Northcutt said. "We didn't know any better that first time and it worked out fine. It was great this time on a day when we had heard so much about how bad the traffic and congestion was going to be around the stadium."

Gill and Northcutt both smiled in satisfaction as they completed the short walk to Gate D from an uncrowded parking lot.

Frock, 53, also had no complaints as he reached the stadium at 5: 24 p.m., saying park-and-ride was an excellent deal.

But the professional bus driver from Hanover, Pa., did have one suggestion for the MTA and the driver.

"We could have made it in 15 minutes if we had come in on 295 from the Beltway instead of 95; 295 drops you right off at Ostend Street," Frock said.

Frock said he always takes the park-and-ride bus from Glen Burnie even though he lives in Hanover because it is simple to meet his son, who's also named Tom, there.

"I live in Dundalk," said the younger Frock, "and I've always come over here to meet my dad to go to games. We're comfortable with it."

Stadium review

The Ravens have played two preseason games at home, letting fans get an early look at what the new stadium is all about. Now, with the regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers a week away, this section critiques various aspects -- from getting there, to tailgating, to watching the game. Ratings used are thumbs up, thumbs down and a combination of up and down.


Pub Date: 8/30/98

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