One of the most common question asked among Marylanders via our Transportation Resource Information Point (MD TRIP) Call Center is “How can I get to BWI?”
Specifically, how can Maryland residents without a car catch a plane from BWI? Or, how can residents with cars catch a plane while leaving the car at home? Luckily, for many Maryland residents, this is not only affordable, but easy to do. Here are your options, based on where you are coming from.
Baltimoreans have an extremely easy trip to BWI – one of the branches of the MTA Light Rail heads straight there. $1.80 can get you from any station to BWI right outside the terminals. The LocalLink 75 bus also heads to BWI from the Patapsco LightRail station, and service is always available via the 75 bus from the UM Transit Center when the Light Rail is not running – these bus fares are also $1.80 one-way.
Nearly every MTA bus route connects to a Light Rail station. Just remember that the Light Rail is different from buses – you need to buy a ticket from a booth at the station before you board, unlike buses, which you pay for as you board.
From Central MD (East Howard County, North Prince George’s County, North Anne Arundel County)
The LocalLink 75 bus can also take you to BWI from Arundel Mills, 24 hours a day, as it heads up toward Baltimore. If you can get to the Columbia Mall, Snowden Square, MD Food Center, Arundel Mills, or locations in between, the RTA 501 bus can take you to BWI for just $2. There are multiple ways to get to these locations using other RTA buses, so if you don’t live in one of these areas, don’t fret! Try going on to mdtrip.org and plan a trip from your house to BWI. Chances are, you’re in walking distance to a stop for the 501, or in walking distance to stop for a route that connects to the 501. Laurel residents – this includes you! Alternatively, you can take a MARC train to Dorsey station, and transfer to the 501 there.
From the Washington, DC region
Washington-area residents can take the MARC Penn Line (from Union Station or New Carrollton station) to get dropped off directly at the BWI rail station, which has a free dedicated shuttle that runs between the train station and the airport terminals. Alternatively, they can take the MARC Camden Line (although with very limited service) from Union Station, Riverdale, College Park, or Greenbelt and travel to Dorsey MARC station, where they can transfer on to RTA route 501 to get taken directly to the BWI terminals after stopping by Arundel Mills. However, if you can get to Greenbelt station via DC Metro (the north end terminus of the Green Line,) the best option for you is to transfer right on to the B30 Metrobus which operates all day, even on weekends. For $7.50, you can get dropped off right at the airport terminals.
The MTA Commuter Bus route 201 runs between Gaithersburg and BWI, with drop off points directly available to the airport terminals at concourses A and E. The 201 starts at the park and ride lot between I-270 and MD-124 in Montgomery County, and stops at the Shady Grove Metro station, the Georgia Avenue Park & Ride, and Arundel Mills Mall. The one-way fare for this route is $5.
All the options listed above, even when considering other transfers, cost below $16, which is the price of leaving a car parked in long-term parking for two days. If you are traveling alone, it is almost guaranteed to be cheaper to take transit than to park your car at BWI. Plus, you’ll be doing the environment a favor too! And remember, if you ever have questions regarding fares, operating hours, or how to ride these transit options, give a call to our MD TRIP Call Center at 1-877-331-TRIP (8747) anytime weekdays from 8 AM to 4 PM.