Annapolis begins 6th bus route in county

`C-40' links Edgewater, Annapolis and college

Anne Arundel

January 21, 2003|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County and Annapolis officials have joined forces to provide improved bus service in a county with limited public transportation, opening a route linking Edgewater, Annapolis and Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold.

The route, named "C-40," is Annapolis Transit's sixth route into the county. It is the first route to be paid for entirely by the county, which does not have its own public transportation system.

"It seemed like a winner because everyone wanted to do it," said Harvey Gold, county senior transportation planner. He said the county worked with the city for about a year to set up the route, which will cost the county about $100,000 a year to operate. Federal grant money also will be used to cover costs.

Gold said the route, which started Jan. 13, should prove a popular one, with stops at or near The Market at South River Colony, South River High School and the community college.

Local government officials have yet to take a rider count, but bus drivers indicate that riders are enthusiastic about the new service.

"We've generally heard from drivers that people are like, `Wow, Kmart!'" said Paul Foer, marketing specialist, Annapolis Department of Transportation. "The community college has been very, very pleased."

Community college officials got the word out through the student newspaper and staff newsletter about the new bus service, which has three stops on campus, said Debbie Shaughney, public relations coordinator. An Annapolis Transit official promoted the bus service during student registration recently.

The C-40 isn't the first city bus route that has ventured into the county. During the past decade or so, city buses have served five routes, including those with stops at Westfield Shoppingtown, Arundel Mills and Baltimore-Washington International Airport. In return, the county subsidizes the city's transportation department, which has an annual budget of about $1.5 million. The county contributes about $150,000 a year.

County and city officials are working with a consultant to map out a better public transportation system, including new routes and more buses, Gold said. The report is to be released within the next six months.

Ridership on the C-40 route will be free to the public until March 21, after which the base fare from Annapolis to AACC will be $1.50. The fare from Edgewater to AACC will be $3. For more information, contact the Annapolis Transportation Department at 410-263-7964, Ext. 109, or www.annapolis .gov/transport.

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