Crossing work to interrupt light rail service

Buses will serve 5 Balto. County stops

some riders irked

June 04, 2008|By Kevin Rector | Kevin Rector,Sun reporter

Bus shuttles will serve the five northernmost light rail stops in Baltimore County starting later this month while a crossing at Warren Road is replaced, and some riders said yesterday they are not looking forward to the change.

"I think it's going to be a lot more of a headache because there's always two trains and enough space for passengers to sit down. The buses will be more crowded," said Kamille Morton, 17, a Paul Laurence Dunbar High School junior who commutes from Cold Spring to Shawan Road in Hunt Valley, the last stop on the line, to get to her job at a nearby Wendy's.

The bus shuttles will be used between June 15 and late July, Maryland Transit Administration officials said. Beside the Shawan Road stop, the affected stops are at Gilroy, McCormick, Pepper and Warren roads, they said. During the work, rail service will end at the Timonium station.

MTA spokeswoman Cheron Wicker said the temporary halt of light rail service to the five stops results from a $1.5 million project to replace a rubberized rail crossing at Warren Road with one that will "make it easier for both the trains and cars to travel."

Light rail service will likely resume July 28, Wicker said.

Morton said she would continue to use mass transit, as will Janice Stewart, 51, who lives in the city near North Avenue and commutes to the McCormick Road stop to get to her cleaning job at the Hunt Valley Courtyard hotel. "I'll have to ride," she said.

One passenger who won't be taking the shuttle bus is Frank Freeman, a 65-year-old retired landscaper and lifelong Baltimore resident who says he often rides the light rail to visit his favorite Quiznos sub shop off Shawan Road.

A rail aficionado, Freeman says he has been a member of the Baltimore Streetcar Museum Inc. - a nonprofit organization on Falls Road that preserves historic streetcars from the city's past - since 1968, quickly pulling from his wallet a well-kept but aged membership card.

"I don't like them diesel things," he said of the buses while waiting at the Shawan Road stop yesterday. "I hate them."

Besides, he said, there are probably plenty of Quiznos closer to his home near North Avenue and Woodbrook Avenue.

kevin.rector@baltsun.com

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