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Getting Around in Baltimore

By Public Transit

Public transportation in Baltimore is nothing spectacular. Fares for public transportation vary, but an inexpensive all-day MTA pass can be purchased at any light-rail or subway station or onboard a bus. The pass is valid for travel on light rail, bus and subway. You can buy the pass from any bus operator or vending machine at subway/light rail stations.

As a general rule, the light rail system is far more useful for getting into the city than getting around it. You may wish to park outside the city (for free) and take the light rail in. The one useful section runs from Camden Yards up past Lexington Market to the Station North Arts District.

There is also a single line subway which runs from Johns Hopkins Hospital, through downtown, and out to the northwest suburbs of Pikesville and Owings Mills. The subway does not pass many tourist destinations and is mostly used by commuters.

To get around Baltimore on the cheap by public transport, especially outside of the harbour area, you will sacrifice convenience, but the MTA buses are the way to go. MTA puts out very handy interactive maps of the downtown and regional bus routes, so you can plan ahead. Buses, like all of Baltimore's public transit, are well patrolled and safe.

By Taxi

Obtain taxis by phone, at taxi stands in front of major hotels or by hailing one curbside. Rates are reasonable, and do use them when you need to save your energy or if you're in a questionable neighbourhood at night.

By Water Taxi

One of the most popular modes of transportation in Baltimore is the water taxi system. Rarely a useful mode of transport for everyday life, it is an especially nice way of touring the city's main sights for a day (and admiring the skyline from the water). From May-September, it stops throughout the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Fort McHenry, and even Canton, at intervals of about 15-20 minutes. Day passes, adults: $9.00, kids under 10: $4.00.

By Car

If you rent a car or drive your own, know that rush-hour traffic can be horrendous on Baltimore's beltway, Interstate 695, and elsewhere. Parking lots are found at most Inner Harbor hotels, and there's a multitude of private lots downtown as well. Street parking downtown can be difficult because of a shortage of metered spots. Be aware of rigidly enforced restrictions that transform metered spots into no-parking zones during certain morning and afternoon rush hours. If you do park on the street, place all valuables out of sight; it is not uncommon for criminals to break windows to get to something that looks interesting.





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