Light Rail, Baltimore
Baltimore's Light Rail system connects the Inner Harbor with Hunt Valley, Glen Burnie, Baltimore Penn Station, and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport.
Service runs from 6 AM - 11 PM Monday - Saturday, but only 11 AM - 7 PM on Sunday.
Schedule. On weekdays, trains run approximately every 10 minutes through Downtown Baltimore, every 20 minutes or so from BWI Airport, Hunt Valley, and Cromwell/Glen Burnie. Travel time from BWI to Camden Station is approximately 25 minutes. Note that the Light Rail is not known for its punctuality (mainly because it travels along streets and is subject to city traffic), so allow slack time in your schedule.
To get to Penn Station from Camden Yards by Light Rail, be sure to take a "Penn Station" train (NOT Timonium/Hunt Valley) to the end of the line. South of Camden Yards or north of Penn Station, take the Light Rail to the University of Baltimore/Mount Royal stop. There, you can transfer to a shuttle train to Penn Station. Allow about 45 minutes to get from BWI to Penn Station, including the transfer to the shuttle train.
Fares: A single ride costs $1.60, $0.55 for senior citizens and disabled. A one-day pass costs $3.50/$1.20. Tickets can be purchased at automated touch-screen machines. (NOTE: even for "cash only" machines, you must select method of payment -- i.e., "cash" -- on the touch screen before the machine will accept your money) Weekly and monthly passes are also available. WARNING: beware vagrants (read: thieves) hanging around the ticket machines. If possible, have the cash for tickets outside your wallet so you do not have to reach for your billfold at the ticket machine.
In addition to buses, the subway and the MARC train, you can travel into and around Baltimore City on the Light Rail (which I think of as a cross between a trolley and a train) . I took these pictures one day when I was on the car alone (rare but it was the middle of the morning). Two of views out the window are crossing a stream in the fall and the other underneath the freeways coming in to Baltimore from the south.
# One-way fare $1.60, or 1 token (MTA will continue to accept tokens until conversion to new fare boxes)
# Day Passes, which entitle you to unlimited rides on Baltimore Buses, Light Rail, or Metro Subway are $3.50
# Weekly Passes for Baltimore Buses, Light Rail, or Metro Subway are $16.50
# Monthly Passes (Regular) for Baltimore Buses, Light Rail, or Metro Subway are $64.00
# Senior/Disability (MTA Photo ID Required) Full Fare one way $0.55
# Senior/Disability Day Pass $1.20
# College Pass $39.00
The MTA website (see URL) says "The Light Rail travels from Baltimore County?s Hunt Valley corporate, hotel, and shopping complex, through the heart of Downtown Baltimore?s shopping, sightseeing, dining, and entertainment districts, past Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium at Camden Yards Sports Complex to Cromwell Station/Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County. There is also service to BWI Airport and Amtrak?s Baltimore Penn Station..
"The Light Rail operates at street level, traveling on bridges to cross several bodies of water. There are 32 station stops along the system with vending machines, as the Light Rail is a ?barrier free? system. Purchase a ticket from the ticket vending machine before boarding Light Rail. Tickets are not available onboard. Press the button on the outside of the train to gain access. To exit, press the green button next to the door."
This is a good way to get around Baltimore without having to fight the traffic, search in vain for a parking spot, and (if you're like me) risk getting a DUI. The main north-south rail line goes from BWI Airport all the way up to Hunt Valley. A round trip ticket, good for one day, costs $3.20.
The stop for the Inner Harbor is either Convention Center or Camden Yards (home of the famed Baltimore Orioles). To get to and from Penn Station, get off at the University of Baltimore/Mt Royal stop, and pick up the connector train; it runs continuously between those two points. You can walk it, too.
If you don't know your way around Baltimore, this is an excellent way to see the city.
There are several ways, depending on your preferences, the day of the week, and the time of day.
First off, if you choose to travel downtown, don't do it during rush hour, a standard common-sense tip for anyone who has never been in a large city.
Secondly, if you can visit, do it during the week, after about 10am through 3pm.
The various ways are:
Car - The only form of transportation where you have any say on your riding partner. Hopefully.
Light Rail - A train that runs above ground, not a subway. Well lit, normally patrolled regularly by guards/policemen/security people. It is fairly safe, as safe as any other public transportation.
MTA - or Metro. Subway, in other words. This is also clean, though I've never seen it actively patrolled, I've ridden it at almost all hours, and even exited at some questionable stations by accident. No harm (real or perceived) has ever come to me.
MARC - this is a Train. A real, commuter, sit-next-to-a-stranger-with-a-laptop-and-cell-phone train. BORING
Bus - The way most people who live and work in Baltimore travel. Not a highly suggested way of getting into the city. You would have to know the routes well.
Cab - Expensive, but doable.
Public Transportation Schedules and Fares here:
These are mostly if you are staying OUTSIDE of the city.
Once inside Bal'mer, you can get around the Harbor by:
a) Hoofin' it. The best way to check out some of the pre-fire architecture. Hint - Find the Coolest Building of ALL Time on E. Baltimore Street. Hint2 - Look UP, at night.
b) Cabs. Eh, why do that? Cab's are for Executives running late for a meeting. But if you insist, they are flaggable. Try to stay on Pratt St., Lombard St., Baltimore Street. Basically anywhere near the Aquarium, The Gallery, or the Inner Harbor. For Fells Point, anywhere on Aliceanna Street, President Street, or Broadway. For Federal Hill - S. Charles, Key, or Montgomery. Of follow the preppie looking college kids coming out of and going into bars. Lot's of them. bars and kids. lol.
c) Water Taxi - The best way for tourist, IMO. You get (for a GREAT price, $5 for the day) a bunch of coupons to use around downtown - giving you a great clue as to where to go and eat and drink. The water taxi takes you from the Inner Harbor to Fells Point, a smaller, less packed area a few blocks away from the harbor. Small shops, some more 'cultural boutiques' and a great coffee shop. Cobblestone streets and all. Everything from peircing and tattoos to specialty clothing boutiques. Pricing ranges from college student to Deans Wife.
The first light rail service started in 1992 and for the last 13 years they have been trying to expand and improve the service. It works really well for commuters with passes I think. But, when we were there for the weekend - almost every machine we saw or tried to use to buy tickets was out of service. We finally decided to just get on and ride without tickets, and nobody stopped us or asked for tickets. It seems like they should figure out a way to charge for thier service. Also I see from the website that they won't even be running it for two weekends in a row while they do work. Anyway...my tip is that if you try to use a machine and it's out of service, just get on anyway. That seems like the thing most people do.
Light rail service runs from Hunt Valley, in Baltimore County, through Baltimore City, and finally terminates in Glen Burnie in Anne Arundel County. With stops at Baltimore's Penn Station and BWI Airport.
We found the Light rail to be the cheapest way to get into Inner harbor area from BWI, if you are traveling light and not in a big group.
Taxi fares in Baltimore is a big RIP OFF, taxi drivers here are not as honest as in NYC.
we were told by the concierge at BWI that the taxi fare from BWI to Falls Road area (near JHU) is about $45.oo, we ended up paying more than $70 by the meter, the taxi driver used the high way after the Inner Harbor area and took us for a ride around the city before finally reaching our destination, the metered fare was more than $60 and we ended up paying more than $70 with tips.
If you have to take taxi, ask for a flat fare, otherwise, definitely take the light rail, or even MARC train on weekdays, that will take you to Penn Station.
With this kind of taxi drivers, never pay him the tips, he had already ripped off so much from you!
You have just arrived at Baltimore airport (BWI). You want to get to your hotel, lodgement ASAP but you dont want to blow money on a TAXI
My advice. buy a single light rail pass that will take you into the heart of baltimore. It can drop you off on Baltimore street & from there you can walk to your hotel/Accomodation.
You must complete the trip in 1.60 otherwise your pass will be void
Honestly I didnt have to use the train into Baltimore metro from BWI but it looks to be well organized with maps of the Light Rail route clearly in plain sight and ticket machines easily found at the airport.
The area to purchase tickets and board the trains was close to the baggage carousel in the International area of the airport.