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Ravens game prompts MTA to prepare for public transportation demands ahead of Sunday

Ravens game prompts MTA to prepare for public transportation demands ahead of Sunday
Ravens game prompts MTA to prepare for public transportation demands ahead of Sunday 02:40

BALTIMORE -- The indefinite suspension of light rail services due to mechanical issues will impact some fans who plan to flock to M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday to watch the Baltimore Ravens take on the Los Angeles Rams. 

MTA Administrator Holly Arnold announced the decision to suspend all light rail services starting Friday, Dec. 8, to allow crews to make necessary repairs to 53 light rail cars. 

Officials said the decision stems from two issues that were found during inspections.

The first issue described was the discovery of high-voltage conduits punctured after a fire in October. One person was injured in the incident. 

The second involves the machinery called "inter-car connector cables," which connects light rail cars. MTA said the equipment caused six smoke events between November 2021 and November 2023. 

The MTA's decision comes ahead of a Ravens home game at 1 p.m. on Sunday. 

Baltimore resident Keith Harrison said he has used the light rail train daily to get to work and has observed many people on the trains during home games. 

"People coming from different parts of Maryland, from Timonium and different areas like that," Harrison said. "I think they should just get a Lyft not in the downtown area, maybe Fells Point and take a hike up because they're going to have some issues."

Express buses from the Glen Burnie/Cromwell stop and the Timonium Fairgrounds stop will run directly to M&T Bank Stadium for fans to see the Ravens take on the Rams.

"In addition to the 30 shuttle buses on the light rail shuttle, we will be running 20 express buses for game day," MTA Chief Operating Officer Joe Davis said. "Express bus riders should board these buses at our Cromwell/Glen Burnie and Timonium Fairgrounds light rail stations."

People should board the express buses at the Cromwell light rail stop in Glen Burnie or at the Timonium Fairgrounds light rail station, according to transportation officials.

Regular buses have enough seats for 31 bus passengers whereas "articulated buses" have seats for 51 passengers, transportation officials said.  

"The MTA did not obtain additional resources to execute the light rail shuttle," Davis said. "We are using our regular bus operators. While our light rail train operators do hold CDLs, they do not have the recertification training needed to operate a bus. We will be using our light rail train operators to move trains between the inspection sites to expedite our inspection, repair, and return of the fleet."

Officials said the impacted light rail cars range from 21 to 34 years old. Limited service will resume once eight have been repaired and inspected.

MTA said there's no set timeline as to when service will be back.

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