Annapolis expands route of bus service

Downtown will be linked to commercial areas

November 19, 1999|By Rachel D. Mansour | Rachel D. Mansour,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Annapolis transit officials have announced an extension of Gold Route bus service to the busy commercial areas -- and job sites -- of Gateway Village, Annapolis Harbour Center and the Admiral Cochrane Drive corridor.

Beginning tomorrow, the Gold Route extension begins daily bus service, creating an hourlong circuit linking downtown Annapolis with Parole town center and its big-box retailers and other developments.

The new service will run from 5: 30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and connect on the hour with the Spa Road bus transfer point. It will operate from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

The extension comes a year after the Annapolis Department of Transportation opened the Gold shuttle serving downtown, Bestgate Road and Annapolis Mall. The Gold Route's first year of operation logged about 30,000 trips, according to transportation director Danielle Matland.

Matland said the extension is an attempt to address the county's "public transit gap." It is part of a nationwide effort through federal funding to provide transportation to job sites.

"Go for the Gold" is the theme of the new bus service, and Matland said it will create 1,700 job prospects for Annapolis-area residents in shops, medical centers, hotels and offices.

The city's transportation department received a $125,000 federal Access to Jobs/Reverse Commute Grant, administered by the Maryland Mass Transit Administration, to help pay for the extension.

Another benefit is for shoppers who want to visit downtown stores but avoid the Annapolis parking crunch.

Matland said this will "quiet the effects of traffic" in the city's narrow streets during the holiday season.

Mayor Dean L. Johnson has invited elected officials and business leaders to join him on an inaugural run of the Gold Route today, with a grand opening ceremony in front of the Fresh Fields market at Annapolis Harbour Center at 9: 30 a.m.

The Gold Route extension begins public service at 5: 30 a.m. tomorrow from the transfer point on Spa Road.

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