Frequently Asked Questions
This section contains frequently asked questions for a variety of audiences, including TRIP visitors, members or prospective members.
Where in Maryland is public transportation offered?
Public transportation is available in each of the 23 counties of Maryland, Baltimore City, and Washington, DC.
What are the advantages of taking public transportation?
Public transportation is an easy and convenient alternative to gridlocked commutes and high gas prices. Compared to driving, public transit is less expensive and better for the environment. It also significantly reduces traffic congestion, saves energy and benefits the communities it serves. More and more, Maryland residents are relying on public transportation to get to and from their workplaces, doctor’s appointments, shopping malls and recreation places.
What are "alternative commutes"?
Alternative commuting generally refers to taking a mode of transportation other than a personal vehicle. Public transit on fixed-route vehicles is often viewed as an alternative commute but there are other options.
Ridesharing is sharing your commute in a private vehicle instead of driving alone. It is an ideal option for commuters in suburban or rural areas, where busses are infrequent, and it works well in urban areas where parking is limited and/or expensive. On the TRIP website, you can find links to Rideshare Coordinators in each county of Maryland that will assemble, match and follow up with potential rideshare candidates.
Carpools involve yourself and at least one other person. Vanpools usually consist of four (4) to fifteen (15) people. A designated pick-up location is typically set, and riders share the costs (tolls, gas, parking, etc.) of travel. Carpool and vanpool users also get to drive in specified carpool lanes on Maryland highways.
People in carpools and vanpools typically use privately owned cars. Car sharing involves using a fleet of cars owned either by a car sharing service provider, or using a car that is owned collectively by the car share members. The entire process is most often self-service, with reservations made via the Internet or telephone.
This is an affordable and eco-friendly way to get around in Maryland and may be used in conjunction with public transportation or another alternative transportation method. Bike racks are continuously being added on buses, train cars and near buildings.
Telecommuting means working from home, and this option is generally available through programs offered by employers at the workplace. It targets the commuters who are going back and forth on our roads to fulfill work obligations. Estimates state that over four (4) million Americans work from home, and many more telecommute part-time. As voice and video-conferencing technologies such as Skype and GoToMeeting.com become more popular, it is likely that the trend will continue to grow.
What is the TRIP Transit Directory?
The TRIP Transit Directory is a web-driven database that provides a single point of entry for consumers seeking information on public, private and specialized transportation services.
How current is the information on TRIP?
Is carpooling/vanpooling safe?
If you follow a few simple guidelines, carpooling/vanpooling is a safe way to commute. In most instances, ridesharing services screen people for driver's licenses and driving records as well as personal references if necessary.
What are paratransit services?
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that public transportation be accessible to passengers with disabilities. Paratransit works in conjunction with fixed public transportation routes, in which vans, mini-buses or shuttles are used to provide shared-ride services. Some systems pick up passengers along a given route, while other systems offer on-demand service from any origin to any destination within a service area.
How will my transportation organization benefit from being a member of the Transit Directory?
When you are added to the TRIP Transit Directory, you will be able to help provide more comprehensive information regarding transit options to people throughout the Baltimore metropolitan region. Through TRIP, you can communicate news and announcements about your group or organization. You will also gain exposure to new customers, which can allow you to expand your existing customer base.
Why should I carpool/vanpool?
Carpooling/vanpooling saves you money, is environmentally friendly, helps reduce traffic congestion and is a great way to meet new people.
Who is behind TRIP?
The TRIP program was initiated by two entities, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Center for Mobility Equity (CME), formerly known as Central Maryland Regional Transit. In 2005, the MTA received federal funding designated for highway and transit programs. In fiscal year 2008-2009, CME received a portion of JARC grant funds, which were allotted to the purchase of software for a database. CME and the MTA then worked together to assess the transportation needs, issues and constraints of the commuting public. This information, along with information collected from various service providers, is what populates the TRIP website.
What is the Trip Planner?
The Trip Planner is a fast and intuitive web-based program that is powered by Moovit, which enables a user to enter his/her specifics (starting location, destination stop, departure times and arrival). Once the information is entered, the program pulls up available public transportation schedules to plot out the most efficient itinerary (note that only fixed-route bus operations are available via the trip planner, so no medical shuttles or taxis will show up). Starting locations and/or destinations can be entered as a street address, intersection or city/town name.
What is TRIP?
The TRIP program is a one-stop website for all things transit related in the State of Maryland. We provide customers, human services agencies and partner organizations with a wealth of information on a wide range of transit services. In addition, we provide a hotline for immediate assistance—just dial 877-331-TRIP (8747).