MTA Maryland Route 17
Route 17 is a
bus routeoperated by the Maryland Transit Administrationin the suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland. It currently operates from the Patapsco Light Rail Stopto Parkway Center in Anne Arundel County, via BWI Airportand Arundel Mills. Weekend trips on this line terminate at Arundel Mills.
Route 17 is one of the most changed bus routes in MTA History from its original route. Only three of the 27 miles of its initial route are still in place today. The remainder of the current route is Its current route is actually the successor to several other bus routes no longer operating. The route has seen a very fragile existence, facing a lot of budget cuts that have resulted in its route and schedule being reduced, and a near threat of elimination.
Route 17 line started operating in 1973 between
downtown Baltimoreand Gibson Island. At that time, it served the Annapolis Road/Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard and Mountain Road corridors, mostly of Anne Arundel County. It passed through the towns of Linthicum, Glen Burnie, and Pasadena.
The route was shortened during the 1980s from Gibson Island to Lake Shore Plaza. Gibson Island became a private island, and the causeway leading there closed to the public, and ridership demand in this area was very low. Also, trips at certain times of day terminated at Pinewood Village in the Harundale area.
Opening of Central Light Rail
When the Central Light Rail line was opened in South Baltimore and Anne Arundel County, Route 17 underwent a series of changes in various phases.
In June 1992, the route was converted into a feeder bus into the light rail, and was shortened to the Patapsco Light Rail Stop. The portion going to downtown Baltimore was eliminated. In addition, Sunday service was eliminated.
In January 1993, the route faced budget cuts. On weekdays, midday service between 9 AM and 2 PM, which had very low ridership was eliminated. Saturday service was shortened to Pinewood Village.
In September 1993, when the final stretch of the light rail opened, midday service was restored, as the route underwent even more changes, replacing the then-eliminated Route 230. It was modified to serve BWI Airport and the BWI business area and hotel district. The portion along Hammonds Ferry Road in Linthicum was provided on a new Route 12. Rush hour service operated to Lake Shore Plaza, and midday service only as far as the
Cromwell Light Rail Stop.
Combining with Route 12 and cuts
In 1996, Route 17 faced its biggest cuts ever. All service between BWI Airport and Lake Shore Plaza was eliminated, as MTA would no longer serve some of these communities. Service to Pinewood Village was replaced with a new limited branch of Route 14, and service on Mountain Road was no longer provided. Other parts of Baltimore-Annapolis Boulevard are within a close walk of various light rail stops. Route 17 line was also combined with Route 12 line and extended to Parkway Center, thereby providing all this service on a single route.
Extension to Arundel Mills
In 2001, with the opening of
Arundel Millsmall in Hanover, Maryland, Route 17 was extended to this area. All trips to Parkway Center were routed via Arundel Mills, and all trips terminating at BWI Airport were extended there. In addition, Sunday service was added to serve the mall.
Threat of total elimination
In 2005, MTA proposed to completely eliminate Route 17, except for a few trips between downtown Baltimore and BWI Airport when the light rail was not operating. Under this plan, riders between the airport and Arundel Mills were instructed to use
Howard County Transit's Red Express Route, which operates along nearly the same route in this area, and all other riders in Anne Arundel County would lose service.
The plan resulted in a public outcry from riders, businesses along the route, and community activists. One of the major complaints is that many non-English-speaking riders along the route who worked within the BWI hotel district, would lose service and not even know it [ [http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/local/bal-te.md.spanish09jun09,1,6296254.story??track=sto-relcon Word of bus changes isn't reaching Latino riders - Social Issues, Maryland, Metropolitan Transportation Authority - baltimoresun.com ] ] .
In 2006, MTA revised its plan for Route 17. Under the new routing plan, the line would continue to operate full-time, but from the Patapsco Light Rail Stop to Arundel Mills only, with service provided every 30 minutes during rush hour, and every 90 minutes at other times. Some of the deviations along the route where duplicate service is provided (such as to BWI
Amtrak) would be eliminated or modified. Only riders west of Arundel Mills to Parkway Center would lose service.
In 2007, GBBI was canceled, and no changes have been made to this line very since.
*List of MTA Maryland bus routes
History of MTA Maryland
*History of Route 17
* [http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/bus/routes/bus/17%20SERVICE%20MAP%202002%20 [Converted] .pdf Map of Route 17]
* [http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/bus/schedule/17_weekday.cfm Weekday schedule of Route 17]
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