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BALTIMORE – A newly enforced federal law says that public bus services can no longer be used as shuttles for special events or tours, in order to keep them from taking business from private charter companies. Part of the Safe, Accountable Flexible Efficient Transportation Equity Act, which took effect April 30, discourages systems such as Harford Transit, Carroll Area Transit Systems, and Howard Transit from using public buses for event shuttles and tours. The Maryland Transit Authority ended its shuttle services to Orioles and Ravens games in early June because of the new regulations.
Baltimore County uses MTA buses for most public transit, and the CountyRide program provides transportation specifically for the elderly and people with physical disabilities, said Arnold Eppel, director of the Baltimore County Department of Aging. CountyRide, a Qualified Human Service Organization, is exempt from federal restrictions on its buses. Eppel said the county even received more federal funds that would be applied toward increased gas surcharges, but he was unsure if the funding was tied to the recently enforced bill.
Source: Baltimore Examiner
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