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Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/16/2011

New buses for Intercounty Connector

By Robert Thomson

ICC bus.jpg
Maryland transportation department looks forward to new bus service on ICC. (Thomson)

Connector Q&A l Crews rush to finish ICC l Map l Archive

On March 1, a week after the first segment of the Intercounty Connector opens, Maryland will launch two new bus services to take advantage of the new route. A year from now, when the rest of the highway opens, more bus lines will be added.

For the first two weeks of the new service, the buses will be free. After that, a one-way trip will be $5. These are the two starter routes.
Route 201. The line will operate seven days a week, with 14 daily round trips between Gaithersburg and BWI Marshall Airport. The Maryland Transit Administration says the 47-mile trip should take about 75 minutes. The stops along the way are:
* Gaithersburg Park and Ride
* Shady Grove Metro Station
* Norbeck Park and Ride
* Burtonsville Park and Ride
* BWI Southwest Terminal
* BWI International Terminal
* BWI MARC/Amtrak Rail Station

Route 202. The line will operate weekdays, with three morning trips, three afternoon trips and one midday trip between Gaithersburg and the NSA and Fort Meade. The MTA says the 46-mile trip should take about 75 minutes. The stops along the way are:
* Gaithersburg Park and Ride
* Shady Grove Metro Station
* Norbeck Park and Ride
* Savage MARC train station
* NSA (Canine Road)
* Fort Meade

More information about the routes, schedules and fares is posted on a new MTA Web page:

The second route, 201, may be very helpful for some of the military employees transferred as part of the BRAC base realignment program. The first route could serve some commuters and some air travelers.

The MTA notes that a $10 round trip bus fare will be a lot cheaper than parking for a long trip at BWI. There is room for luggage in the storage holds beneath the buses, and the buses are new and very comfortable.

Flyers considering this option should note that the new bus service does not offer reserved seating, and there's generally no standing allowed on MTA commuter. Also air travelers probably would want to find an alternative to their cars for reaching the bus stops. The Shady Grove Metro station does not offer long-term parking. There is a charge for weekday parking. The parking areas are free on weekends and holidays.

Maryland's park and ride lots are open 24/7 and free, but you may want to consider the security aspects of leaving a car in an unattended lot. Getting dropped off, taking a taxi, or taking a Ride On bus is a better option for an air traveler using the new bus route.

The routes the buses take will be modified once the highway is completed. At that point, three new bus lines will be added linking:
* Greenbelt Metro station, MARC Muirkirk Station and the I-270 corridor.
* Rockville and North Bethesda, National Naval Medical Center, Columbia Town Center, Columbia Gateway Business Park and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. (This route will include connections to three Metro stations.)
* The Food and Drug Administration in White Oak, University of Maryland in College Park, with connections to Metro's Green and Red lines.

By Robert Thomson  | February 16, 2011; 11:45 AM ET
Categories:  Airports, Commuter Bus, Commuting, Maryland, Transit  | Tags:  Dr. Gridlock, Intercounty Connector  
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My answer is NO: I would hope not even so much as to be caught DEAD on the ICC.

Posted by: polecatx1 | February 16, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Guess MTA didn't get the memo that the state has a $350 million deficit.

The last thing this state needs is more bus routes that charge $10 but run nearly empty all day - thus costing the citizens $100 per rider per day.

Posted by: SpeakEasy3 | February 16, 2011 10:04 PM | Report abuse

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