A Letter To Our Riders, Headway Delays

Thursday, June 24

June 24, 2010

To the riders of the Charm City Circulator:

When we initiated Charm City Circulator operations in January, 2010 we committed to a ten-minute headway; that is, our riders would have to wait no longer than ten minutes for the next bus to arrive. As some of our valued riders have experienced, we’ve hit a few “bumps” in schedule consistency. Even though the schedule is averaging a 11.5 minute headway, we have experienced some buses coming sooner and in other instances, we’ve left some riders waiting for 20 - 30 minutes for the next bus. We acknowledge that the key to good service is reliability, and in that regard we are working toward meeting your  expectations. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused and are working diligently towards making the 10-minute headway a reality.  

There are a number of factors that have hampered us from maintaining the 10-minute headway including normal street congestion which has been intensified by the repaving of critical stretches of Pratt and Lombard Streets.
The centerpiece of the Charm City Circulator effort is the EcoSaver IV hybrid bus built by DesignLine North America. This particular vehicle was chosen because of its low emissions, advanced styling and ergonomics, lower operating and maintenance costs, fuel efficiency, and the true hybrid nature of the vehicle that allows it to run in zero emissions mode for a good part of the day. However, as with all new technologies, there are unforeseen bugs that arise. While we iron out these bugs we will be taking vehicles out of service periodically to retrofit them with the equipment that will enable us to operate this service at the level of expectation, and will be temporarily running at 15 minute headways. We apologize for any inconveniences that this operational change presents but we are working to ensure dependable service in the future.  

We do want to say that we’ve heard so many great stories about your experiences, and continue to hear your support. We are excited that riders have discovered new restaurants, changed their commute, and used public transportation for the first time. As we continue our efforts to achieve reliable service, please let us know what you think and leave a comment in the contact form or call our Customer Service line at (410) 350-0456. In the meantime, thank you very much for riding the Charm City Circulator!   

The Charm City Circulator Team