It was a beautiful day last Wednesday, when members of the Baltimore community, media outlets, contest finalists, and Mayor Shelia Dixon gathered in front of City Hall for the great unveil of the newest, greenest and cheapest way to get around downtown. Baltimore was getting a new bus line that would run (for free) across downtown and then up north to Penn Station. When I heard about this, the first thought that came to my mind was “Yahoo!” A free, easy and green way to get from one side of town to the other? Sign me up. And what was even cooler was that I would be there for the moment when the city revealed the name of the new line and what the buses would look like. I was stoked.
Behind the podium and a sizable crowd of spectators, there it was, covered in a sheet, waiting for the word from Madam Mayor herself. There were some speeches, describing the usefulness of this addition to Baltimore’s public transportation, how the parking tax had been raised to pay for it (but hey, now Bmore drivers only need to pay to park downtown once!) and how after combing through the 2700 entries to the “name the bus” contest held this winter, ten finalists were chosen.
With a 1, 2, and 3 off came the sheet and there the bus was in all of its hybrid- gas efficient, purple glory.
The Charm City Circulator, name courtesy of 24 year-old Michelle Brand. It looked like a combination of a spaceship and some weird bug with bright colors and a cute little city design on its side. The futuristic vibe was fitting, considering its eco-friendly nature and the seeming need for car companies to make earth-friendly rides look sort of like they’re about to blast into space. The bus’s interior was clean and streamlined, the seats were plush with plenty of leg room. I took a deep breathe in. Ahh — eau de new bus. I have a feeling that the new car smell won’t last long; the 21 buses begin their maiden voyage from University of Maryland Biopark to the Inner Harbor East, starting in mid-August. Promising to come every ten minutes to take you on your way, guaranteed.
And with two more routes slotted to make the rounds — if you’ll pardon the pun — after Labor Day, all I’ve got to say is, I’m charmed to meet you, Charm City Circulator.
More adventures next time,