16 October 2012

Transit/Travel Tips for Baltimore Beer Week, 2012 Edition

First of all, the Baltimore Beer Week Committee encourages you to travel (and drink) responsibly while partaking of Baltimore Beer Week.  Do not drink and drive.  Take a designated driver (many events have discounts and/or special deals for designated drivers), pool together to take a taxi or van, or ride public transit.  If in doubt, call a cab or have one called for you--even a long taxi ride is cheaper than a car accident or arrest.  Heck, hire a limo or van if you must--several limos showed up at Baltimore Beer Week events in 2009 and 2010!

First things first: BUS and RAIL transit (MTA Metro and Light Rail) use for downtown events, especially at the Pratt Street Ale House, is strongly encouraged whenever possible. 

Downtown Baltimore has a FREE "circulator" shuttle bus service, the Charm City Circulator.  Four routes are currently in service:  the north-south Purple Route which operates from Amtrak/MARC's Penn Station south to Federal Hill; the east-west Orange Route, which operates from Hollins Market/the B&O Museum east to Harbor East; the Green Route connecting City Hall/Fallsway motels, Harbor East, Fells Point, and Johns Hopkins Hospital Campus; and the Banner Route, connecting Inner Harbor with Fort McHenry via Fort Avenue.  With the Circulator, it's easy--and free--to ride from Penn Station or downtown hotels to Federal Hill, or to go from Federal Hill to Mount Vernon or Fells Point.  The southeasternmost stop of the Orange Route (#225 on the maps) is seven blocks from the heart of Fells Point, approximately a (relatively safe) ten-to-twelve-minute walk; you can also change from the Orange Route to the Green Route in Harbor East.  Buses are scheduled to operate every ten minutes during operating hours.
Circulator Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 6:30am-9:00pm
Friday: 6:30am-midnight
Saturday: 9:00am-midnight
Sunday: 9:00am-9:00pm

The Water Taxi: Baltimore's Inner Harbor is served by a flotilla of passenger boats called the Water Taxi.  These boats do not just stop when flagged as the name implies, but operate over designated routes between designated stops like a bus (weather permitting--strong winds or thunderstorms will suspend service).  Passengers pay  a flat $10 day pass (children $5).  Throughout Baltimore Beer Week, Water Taxi service starts at 10 A.M. every day, and ends at 8 P.M. every day except Friday and Saturday when service continues to 11 P.M.  The Water Taxi can be an ideal way to travel from downtown locations or Federal Hill to Fells Point or Canton, especially for the Chesapeake Real Ale Festival!

Baltimore MTA in general: http://www.mtamaryland.com 
MTA's Transit Trip Planner (how to get from one address to another via transit):  http://www.mtamaryland.com/transit/
Google Maps http://maps.google.com
MTA City Buses: http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/bus/ 
MTA Light Rail (BWI Airport/Glen Burnie-Downtown-Timonium/Hunt Valley):  http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/lightrail/  
MTA Metro Subway (Owings Mills-Downtown-Johns Hopkins Hospital):  http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/subway/
MARC Commuter Rail (weekday only, Perryville-Baltimore-D.C.): http://www.mtamaryland.com/services/marc/
Baltimore Super Shuttle (airport van): http://www.supershuttle.com/bal.htm
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport: http://www.bwiairport.com
DC Airports: http://www.metwashairports.com
Amtrak (Penn Station, north of Mt. Vernon): http://www.amtrak.com
Greyhound (Terminal between M&T Stadium and I-95): http://www.greyhound.com

BoltBus (stops next to Penn Station) http://www.boltbus.com
Megabus: http://us.megabus.com (NOTE: Megabus uses White Marsh, Md., northeast of the city proper, as its stop for the city.  Riders can ride downtown on the MTA #35 bus, or they can just proceed directly to Red Brick Station, the brewpub on The Avenue at White Marsh.....)

More Transportation: http://www.baltconvstr.com/pages/transportation.htm

Baltimore City Taxi Cabs
Yellow Cab (410) 685-1212
Baltimore Taxi Company (410) 327-7777
Royal Cab (410) 327-0330
Anne Arundel County Taxi Cabs
Cab Connection (410) 766-1000
Baltimore County Taxi Cabs
County Cab (410) 339-0000
Jimmy’s Cab (410) 296-7200
Howard County Taxi Cabs
Columbia Taxi Service (240) 210-6688

General hints:  An MTA Day Pass, good for all modes, is $3.50--cheaper if you're a senior.  It's only thirty cents more than the cost of two bus trips, or any round trip on the subway or Light Rail, so it's best to get said pass if you anticipate any use other than a simple round trip.  Baltimore has also instituted a "smart card" electronic card reader program called the Charm Card, similar to Washington DC's SmartCard; in fact, they are interchangeable, and DC's SmartCards will work on Baltimore's MTA and even carry over cash balances between systems.

Routes:  If you're trying to get to Fells Point from downtown or vice versa, you should seek out the #10 bus line, which drops you off at the Broadway Market at Broadway and Eastern, three short blocks from Max's and less than that for Alexander's, etc.  The #11 route also stops in Fells Point at Broadway and Aliceanna.  Bus routes 7, 11, and 13 will get you to various points around Canton, with varying success depending on your origin and exact destination.  Routes 1 and 64 will get you to Federal Hill, with the former also getting you to Locust Point.  Several routes will get you between downtown and Mount Vernon/Station North/Penn Station, including the 3, 11, and 64; simply remember that Charles Street is one-way northbound and the streets to either side east and west (St. Paul and Maryland/Cathedral/Light) are one-way southbound.  Light Rail can get you from the north and south to Pratt Street Ale House for the Real Ale Fest on the 20th, and can also be useful for Alewife, The Brewer's Art, and other downtown locations.   

Try the MTA Trip Planner at: http://www.mtamaryland.com/transit/   Enter a start and destination address and time you plan to start, and the website calculates the best (or several optional) ways to get between the two points by MTA, even including walking between connecting routes if need be.

1 comment:

JohnM. said...

As always, excellent and very helpful information! Thanks!