New routes for the Blue Jay Shuttle system are in effect as of Aug. 18.
Currently, the Blue Jay Shuttle runs a total of five different routes — blue, green, red and pink, along with the Saturday Hampden Shuttle — and works the Night Ride system. Except for the Blue Route, which remains unchanged, significant shifts have been made to all other shuttle routes.
The 33rd Street Connector has been discontinued as a separate shuttle route, and most of its stops have been added instead to the Green Route.
The Green Route, in turn, has added stops at 20th Street and Maryland Avenue as well as 21st Street and N. Howard Street, the locations of Nakwon and Be-One, respectively, which are both popular Asian restaurants in Baltimore. On the other hand, the Green Route no longer makes stops at 26th Street and N. Howard Street or at the local CVS, because both locations are serviced by the Night Ride system. Furthermore, the Wolman/McCoy and Barnes & Noble stops will not be serviced by the Green Route until the construction on Charles Street comes to an end and the street reopens for traffic later this year.
The Red Route has added a new stop in front of the University One Apartments in order to accommodate student residents.
The Pink Route no longer services Meadow Mill, the Woodberry Light Rail or Linkwood Apartments; these stops are now only made by the Night Ride shuttle. However, stops have been added along St. Paul, including Wolman/McCoy, Barnes & Noble and Wyman Towers, as well as at Cresmont Loft Apartments.
The Saturday Hampden Shuttle has added a stop at the Giant on W. 41st Street, which will go into effect beginning Saturday, Sept. 6.
In addition, the Carey Business School Shuttle now operates during the day. The bus only makes two stops: at Mason Hall, which is located on the Homewood Campus, and at the traffic circle at International Drive outside of Carey Business School.
The Night Ride system, an on-demand shuttle bus that students can request via phone in order to get to and from locations within the service area between 5:50 p.m. and 3 a.m., will remain more or less unchanged.
The implementation of these changes in the shuttle routes were the result of a desire to increase students’ safety in the immediate Baltimore area, especially off-campus. They were determined based on studies of the most and least frequented stops on the routes in previous years.
“These changes will make the Blue Jay Shuttle a more effective resource to students that is more catered toward our needs and the locations we go to most often,” Adelaide Morphett, executive secretary of the Student Government Association (SGA), said. “[The changes were] based on students’ needs, [as] observed from quantitative studies gathered by drivers and dispatchers in the transportation department.”
Greg Smith, the University’s Head of Transportation, has also mentioned several new additions and future plans that the transportation department is considering. These include the appointment of recent Hopkins graduates to the Board of Transportation. They will be tasked with garnering a clearer sense of the students’ voices and opinions on the transportation system.
There are also plans underway for the introduction of the Charm City Circulator to the Homewood Campus, but no timeline has yet been outlined for this project. The Circulator routes are likely to duplicate the JHMI shuttle. The purple route, instead of turning around at Penn Station, will come up Charles Street, travel all the way to University Parkway and then travel back down St. Paul Street. The city has announced that this plan will be implemented once the construction on Charles Street is complete.
Students have expressed interest in having Blue Jay shuttles travel further into the Baltimore community and in having the Night Ride System operate throughout the night, so as to increase students’ safety if they happen to be in off-campus locations in the middle of the night.