Owings Mills, Catonsville Identified As Possible Landing Spots For "The Loop" Free Circulator Bus Expansion
BALTIMORE COUNTY - Towson's free bus service, "The Loop," is eyeing expansion into other areas of Baltimore County.
Despite falling short of the 250,000 annual riders projected by a 2020 feasibility study, increasing use of the service has officials eyeing an expansion into other urban sections of the county.
The Towson Loop started operations in October 2021, driving 12 circulator buses to 42 stops on two routes. According to officials, in the first year, the bus garnered ~50,000 riders, increasing to over 80,000 last year.
Baltimore Fishbowl reports that ridership is up 550 percent over the past 18 months, with the buses now transporting around 6,500 residents monthly.
According to Marchel Simmons, the Towson Loop'g general manager, Owings Mills and Catonsville are potential landing spots for new loop lines.
"It's working in Towson, so we want to be able to give that to other areas in the Baltimore County region. We just feel as though it's a good fit for here, and we're figuring it's going to be an even better fit for the areas that we are looking at," Simmons told WMAR.
A feasibility is currently underway to examine possible locations for the expansion.
The Loop is funded using grants from the state and county, with an estimated annual operating cost of ~3.7 million.
WMAR reports that the county is looking to have the expansions up and running within the next two years.