Baltimore Metro SubwayLink

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Metro SubwayLink
Baltimore Metro Subway logo.svg
Metro Subway train entering the Reisterstown Plaza station, bound for Owings Mills
TypeRapid transit
LocaleBaltimore, Maryland
TerminiOwings Mills (west)
Johns Hopkins Hospital (east)
Daily ridership18,000 Weekday Avg. (Est. Fiscal 2018)[1]
Ridership12,948,400 (2015)[2] Edit this at Wikidata
OpenedNovember 21, 1983; 36 years ago (1983-11-21)
OwnerMaryland Transit Administration
Operator(s)Maryland Transit Administration
CharacterUnderground, surface, elevated
Depot(s)5801 Wabash Avenue[3]
Rolling stock100 Budd cars[4]
Line length15.4 mi (24.8 km)[5]
Track length34 mi (55 km)[3]
Number of tracks2
Track gauge4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Electrification700 V DC third rail [5]
Operating speed70 mph (110 km/h)[4]
Highest elevation28 ft (8.5 m)[4]
Route map

Owings Mills
Old Court
Milford Mill
Reisterstown Plaza
Rogers Avenue
West Coldspring
Upton–Avenue Market
BSicon TRAM.svg
State Center / Cultural Center
BSicon TRAM.svg
Lexington Market
Charles Center
Shot Tower–Market Place
Johns Hopkins Hospital

The Metro SubwayLink, known locally as the Metro Subway, The Subway, or the Baltimore Metro,[6] is a rapid transit line serving the greater area of Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, and operated by the Maryland Transit Administration. Despite its name, less than half of the line is underground; most of the line outside the central city is elevated or at surface grade.[4]


The origins of the Metro Subway lie in the Baltimore Area Mass Transportation Plan, published in 1965, which envisioned six rapid transit lines radiating out from a central city loop. Planning studies from 1968 proposed a rail transit system 71 mi (114 km) long.[4]

As the vision was translated into reality, the original concept was trimmed to a 28 mi (45 km) system in the Phase 1 plan, published in 1971. This plan involved two of the original six lines: a northwest line from Downtown Baltimore to Owings Mills and a south line to Glen Burnie and the airport. Phase 1 was approved for funding by the Maryland General Assembly in 1972. In response to crime concerns of Anne Arundel County residents, the MTA eliminated the south line from Phase 1 plans in 1975.[4]

When the Baltimore Metro opened on November 21, 1983, only the "Northwest" line of the 1965 plan had come to fruition. This 7.6 mi (12.2 km) segment provided service between Charles Center in Downtown Baltimore and Reisterstown Plaza in the northwest section of the city. On July 20, 1987, a 6.1 mi (9.8 km) addition extended the line from Reisterstown Road Plaza to Owings Mills in Baltimore County, much of it running in the median of I-795. A further extension of 1.6 mi (2.5 km) from Charles Center to Johns Hopkins Hospital was opened on 31 May 1995 .[3][5]

Once the project was completed in 1995, the total cost for the Metro Subway was $1.392 billion.[4]

The current system is 15.4 mi (24.8 km) long, including 6.2 mi (10 km) underground, 2.2 mi (3.5 km) elevated, and 7.0 mi (11.3 km) at grade level (with roadways separated). Eight of its 14 stations are underground, at depths of 52 ft (16 m) to 112 ft (34 m) below street level. Its elevated stations stand from 25 ft (7.6 m) to 28 ft (8.5 m) above ground.[5]

When the system started operation, it became the largest single user of Susan B. Anthony dollar coins.[7]

On February 11, 2018, the MTA announced a month-long closure of the entire subway system to complete emergency track repairs identified during a safety inspection. An aboveground portion of the system had already been shut down due to emergency inspections and repairs.[8] The system reopened on March 9.[9]

Farebox recovery is only 28%. This is comparable to other similarly-sized system is the continental United States, although low for international standards.


The Metro Subway has a single line that is shaped like a reverse "J". Trains head south underground from Johns Hopkins Hospital, turn west as they pass under Baltimore's central business district, then north and ultimately northwest towards Owings Mills. The route leaves its tunnel northwest of Mondawmin station, entering an elevated structure that parallels Wabash Avenue and the Western Maryland Railroad. The route eventually leaves the older railroad right of way to enter the I-795 median, which it occupies all the way to the system's Owings Mills terminus.

Trains heading for Johns Hopkins Hospital are referred to as "eastbound" trains, while trains heading towards Owings Mills are said to be "westbound".[6]


A trip from one end of the line to the other takes about half an hour. Headways range from 8 minutes during daytime peak to 11 minutes late at night and on weekends. Trains run from 5 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, 6 a.m. to midnight on weekends.[6]


These are the current fare prices for MTA buses, Light Rail, and Metro Subway travel.[10]

Type Regular fare Reduced fare
Single trip $1.90 $.90
Day Pass $4.40 $2.20
Weekly Pass $21.00 -
Monthly Pass $74.00 $22.00
  • Note: People who qualify for paratransit services can use Metro Subway free of charge.

Connecting services[edit]

Most Metro Subway stations are served by a number of MTA bus routes. In 1984, just months after Metro first started operating, many feeder routes were created that were given the designation of a letter (M, P, or R) followed by a number. In 1987, many of these routes were renamed and only the prefix "M" was used. Over the years, the number of M-lines has shrunk, as many of the routes were consolidated. In 2008, routes that were designated with the letter "M" have been renamed to plain two-digit designations. Finally, on August 30, 2009, the last four were either renumbered or eliminated, with no routing changes made; they continue to act as feeder routes to the Metro Subway.

There is no direct connection to the Baltimore Light Rail or to MARC. The Metro Subway's Lexington Market Station is a 200-yard (180 m) walk from the Light Rail stop of the same name and the State Center Station is about 1.5 blocks away from Light Rail's Cultural Center. In addition, MARC Penn Station is about a one-half mile walk from State Center, and MARC Camden Station is about five blocks from Lexington Market.


Distance (mi) Station Location Parking Connections Connections within close walk
0.0 Owings Mills Painters Mill Road near I-795 underpass 3500 BaltimoreLink: 87, 89
3.6 Old Court Old Court Road near Greenwood Road 625 BaltimoreLink: 37, 83 BaltimoreLink:92
5.4 Milford Mill Roman Frasier Lane and Bedford Road (near Milford Mill Road) 1300 BaltimoreLink: 81, 85
6.1 Reisterstown Plaza Wabash Avenue and Patterson Avenue 700 BaltimoreLink: 82 BaltimoreLink: 83
7.1 Rogers Avenue Rogers Avenue at Wabash Avenue 900 BaltimoreLink: 28, 30, 31, 34, 80, 82, 89 BaltimoreLink: 83
8.3 West Cold Spring Wabash Avenue at Coldspring Lane 300 BaltimoreLink: 28, 82
10.1 Mondawmin Liberty Heights Avenue at Reisterstown Road 175 BaltimoreLink: NAVY, LIME, YELLOW, 22, 26, 29, 82, 83, 85, 91
10.8 Penn – North Pennsylvania Avenue at North Avenue none BaltimoreLink: LIME, GOLD, 85
11.3 Upton – Avenue Market Pennsylvania Avenue at Laurens Street none BaltimoreLink: LIME
12.5 State Center / Cultural Center Preston Street at Eutaw Street none BaltimoreLink: LIME, YELLOW, 54, 73, 154, 410
BaltimoreLink: 94

Light RailLink: Cultural Center

13.3 Lexington Market Eutaw Street at Saratoga Street (north entrance), Lexington Street (south entrance) none BaltimoreLink: BLUE, 54, 71, 80, 94, 105, 115, 154, 320

Light RailLink: Lexington Market

BaltimoreLink: 73
13.8 Charles Center Baltimore Street at Charles Street (west entrance), Calvert Street (east entrance) none BaltimoreLink: ORANGE, GREEN, SILVER, RED, PURPLE, 51, 56, 65, 67, 71, 76, 78, 95, 103, 105, 164, 120, 150, 160, 310, 320, 410, 411
CCC: Purple
BaltimoreLink: NAVY, YELLOW, BROWN, 54, 94, 154
CCC: Orange
14.4 Shot Tower – Market Place Baltimore Street at President Street none BaltimoreLink: ORANGE, BLUE, PURPLE
CCC: Green
15.4 Johns Hopkins Hospital North Broadway and Monument Street none BaltimoreLink: PINK, GOLD, BROWN, PURPLE, 21, 56, 104, 105, 115, 120, 160, 310, 320, 411, 420
CCC: Green
BaltimoreLink: LIME



For fiscal year 2010, the MTA reported 95% on-time performance for the system. It averaged 3.0 passenger trips per revenue mile, with a total of 13.4 million passenger trips for the year. Vehicles operated at an average cost of $11.59 per revenue mile. Local buses, in comparison, performed at a cost of $13.57 per revenue mile.[12]

Rolling stock[edit]

Budd-built Universal Transit Vehicle as seen on the Baltimore Metro Subway departing the Millford Mill station.

These cars were manufactured by the Budd/TransitAmerica Red Lion plant in Northeast Philadelphia. Most were delivered in 1983 with a supplementary set of essentially identical cars being purchased in 1986 for the line expansion. The cars, marketed by Budd as the Universal Transit Vehicle, are identical to those used on the Miami Metrorail because the two agencies built their systems at the same time and saved money by sharing a single order.[4]

These cars were among the last railcars to be built by Budd before the firm shut down.[citation needed]

Trains draw power from the electric third rail. The cars are 75 feet (22.86 m) long, 10 feet (3.05 m) wide, and have a top speed of 70 mph (110 km/h). Cars are semi-permanently attached in married pairs, and 2-, 4- and 6-car trains are all seen on the line. Each car can hold up to 166 passengers (76 seated, 90 standing).[4]

The fleet had a significant overhaul between 2002 and 2005. Seats were reupholstered, and the floors were replaced. External destination rollsigns were replaced with LED displays; internal systems that display train destinations and upcoming stop announcements were also installed.[citation needed]

The MTA currently owns 100 Metro Subway cars;[12] approximately 54 are in use during peak weekday travel times.[citation needed]

In July 2017, the MTA announced the purchase of 78 new railcars to replace the entire subway fleet. The cars will be built by Hitachi Rail Italy, formerly AnsaldoBreda, and will be similar in appearance to those purchased for the Miami Metrorail.[13]

Proposed extension[edit]

Consideration is being given for an extension, from the Metro Subway's Johns Hopkins Hospital terminus northeast to Morgan State University, dubbed the Green Line. Due to the expected high cost of building it as an extension of the existing Metro Subway (which would require tunneling in densely populated neighborhoods), the extension may take the form of a connecting light rail or bus rapid transit service. As of 2011, plans have not progressed.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Maryland ramps up Baltimore rail spending as riders trend down". The Daily Record - Maryland. August 31, 2018. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
  2. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2015" (PDF). American Public Transportation Association. March 2, 2016. Retrieved 2016-03-19 – via
  3. ^ a b c "MTA Media Guide 2010-2011" (PDF). MTA Maryland. August 2010. pp. 4, 9, 10. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Scott M. Kozel (October 13, 2002). "Baltimore Metro Subway". Roads to the Future. Archived from the original on 8 August 2002. Retrieved June 28, 2002.
  5. ^ a b c d Robert Schwandl. "Baltimore Metro Subway". UrbanRail.Net. Retrieved November 27, 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "Metro Subway". MTA Maryland. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  7. ^ Valentine, Paul W. (1984-04-02). "Underground Coin". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
  8. ^ Campbell, Colin (February 11, 2018). "Entire Baltimore Metro system to close for a month for emergency repairs". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  9. ^ Richman, Talia. "Riders relieved as Baltimore Metro Subway reopens after monthlong shutdown". Retrieved 2018-04-01.
  10. ^ "Regular Fares". Maryland Transit Administration. Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  11. ^ "Metro Subway Schedule" (PDF). MTA Maryland. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  12. ^ a b "2012 Annual Report" (PDF). MTA Maryland. p. 30. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  13. ^ " - Maryland Transit Administration". External link in |title= (help)

External links[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata