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Count the Ways … to JSM

1 June 2017 No Comment
Christopher Moriarity and Kevin Ward Drummey

    This year’s Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM) will take place at the Baltimore Convention Center, which is convenient to public transportation. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) Light Rail line has a Convention Center stop just west of the convention center. Additionally, the Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Baltimore/Camden Station is a short distance away; this is the northern terminus of the MARC Camden Line from Washington, DC.

    The Baltimore-Washington International (BWI) Airport is the closest airport to this year’s JSM. The MTA Light Rail has a station at BWI Airport on the lower level, Concourse E vicinity. The one-way fare from BWI Airport to the Baltimore Convention Center is $1.70, making this the least expensive travel option from BWI Airport to JSM. The MTA Light Rail runs at 20–30 minute intervals from early morning to late evening, with a somewhat reduced schedule on Sunday (~11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. northbound from BWI Airport). The airport station fare machines are located inside the airport terminal adjacent to the station.

    In the Know

    More information about public transportation in the northern Virginia; Washington, DC; and Baltimore areas can be found at the following websites:

    Another public transit option from BWI Airport is train travel from the BWI Amtrak Station. One must take a free shuttle from the airport to reach the Amtrak station. The MARC Penn Line and Amtrak run from the BWI Airport station to Baltimore’s Penn Station. Penn Station is not within convenient walking distance of the convention center; however, an MTA Light Rail spur line runs at ~30 minute intervals from Penn Station southbound down to the convention center area.

    The next-closest airport to JSM is Reagan National Airport. One can travel from the airport to Union Station via the DC subway system (Metro), and then catch either an Amtrak or MARC train to Baltimore.

    The Metro requires use of a SmarTrip card. Each passenger must have their own SmarTrip card, which costs $2. Some of the fare machines at the Metro stations have an option for buying a card and adding fare to it in one transaction.

    International travelers may need to travel to JSM via Dulles Airport. The trip from this airport to JSM is much longer, with limited public transit options. Metro doesn’t yet go all the way to Dulles Airport, but there are two bus options to get from Dulles Airport to the Metro. Metrobus 5A runs from Dulles Airport into downtown DC, terminating at the L’Enfant Plaza station. Fairfax Connector bus routes 981 and 983 run from Dulles Airport to the Wiehle-Reston East subway station. One can then travel to Union Station via the Metro.

    Baltimore has a single subway line and a bus network, both run by MTA. The bus network is undergoing a transformation in June to “BaltimoreLink.” A $4 day pass allows unlimited travel for one day on the MTA Light Rail, subway, and buses.

    Getting Around Baltimore for Free: The Charm City Circulator

    A free public transit option for visiting some areas in Baltimore is the Charm City Circulator. There are four routes, three of which pass near the convention center. The Orange Route, an east-west route, passes directly in front of the convention center on Pratt Street and runs east to transfer points for the Green Route, the one route that does not pass near the convention center. The Purple Route is a north-south route, going to the Federal Hill area of Baltimore to the south, and it has a stop at Penn Station to the north. The Banner Route runs to the southeast to historic Fort McHenry, site of the War of 1812 battle that inspired the creation of the U.S. national anthem by Francis Scott Key. Purple Route and Banner Route stops are a short distance east of the convention center. Page 36 of the 2017 JSM Conference Registration Guide has a map that shows where the nearby Purple Route and Banner Route stops are.

    Touring Baltimore Harbor: The Baltimore Water Taxi

    A picturesque way to visit areas of Baltimore Harbor is traveling on the Baltimore Water Taxi. The nearest stop to the convention center is Harborplace, several blocks southeast. A single-trip one-way fare is $8. An all-day pass is $14. All fares are paid by credit card after boarding the taxi. The all-day pass includes a coupon book for discounts at locations near taxi stops and is required if one wants to use the water taxi to travel to/from Fort McHenry.

    Be sure to allow adequate time for water transport and transfers between taxi routes, particularly if you plan to go Fort McHenry. The last taxi from the Fells Point taxi stop to Fort McHenry leaves at 3:30 p.m. The last taxi from Harborplace that can get you to Fells Point in time for the 3:30 departure leaves Harborplace at 3:00 p.m.

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