State gives more time for bus-route comments

Baltimore-area commuter bus riders will have an additional 30 days to comment on proposed route changes, Transportation Secretary Robert L. Flanagan said yesterday.

A day earlier, Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. had announced a 30-day extension for comments on a proposed overhaul of other mass transit bus routes. U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, who has been active in the debate about proposed changes to commuter and transit bus service, praised the decision yesterday but asked for an extension for commuter line comments.

Flanagan said the Department of Transportation will continue taking comments on the commuter bus routes through July 21, but it will likely not schedule additional public hearings.

State officials hope to reduce the costs of commuter buses from Harford and Howard counties by $1 million and say that several routes are underused. But during public hearings in Howard this week, dozens of riders and their advocates pleaded that routes linking Columbia and Baltimore slated for elimination be maintained.

- Andrew A. Green

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