MTA sched­ule changes hurt rid­ers

Baltimore Sun - - MARYLAND VOICES - Maria John­son

Thank you for bring­ing at­ten­tion to the sud­den changes re­cently made by the Mary­land Tran­sit Ad­min­is­tra­tion (“Bal­ti­more bus route changes wreak havoc, group says,” Sept. 16). I am a daily com­muter who de­pends on the No. 58 bus to get to and from work. Start­ing Aug. 29, a new sched­ule for the No. 58 bus was im­ple­mented. This was un­known to the fre­quent rid­ers, and it has caused me and many other daily com­muters to be up to 90 min­utes late to work with sim­i­lar de­lays on the way home. The ma­jor con­cerns I have in­clude the lack of no­tice and the dra­matic in­crease in wait times due to the de­crease in bus fre­quency.

MTA did not up­date the No. 58 bus sched­ules on­line nor did they make avail­able any printed sched­ules at the MTA of­fice down­town or at Metro sta­tion dis­plays. Nor was any­thing posted on­line on the MTA’s web­site or Face­book page. In ad­di­tion, the changes were not listed on the “Fall Changes” posters nor were any me­dia an­nounce­ments made pub­lic. Plan­ning re­quires ad­vance no­tice. Th­ese “small” changes and “tweaks” (as MTA con­sid­ers them) have had huge im­pli­ca­tions for fam­i­lies of the daily com­muters who de­pend on the ser­vice.

MTA spokesman Ryan Nawrocki says, “Routes with chron­i­cally late buses now have less fre­quent — but more re­li­able — ser­vice.”

That is not true. I can as­sure you that the cuts to the No. 58 bus line have not im­proved re­li­a­bil­ity.

Gen­eral traf­fic con­ges­tion has a huge im­pact on the ar­rival of the buses, and that has not changed, but the wait time in be­tween bus ar­rivals has quadru­pled from 15 min­utes to 60 min­utes or more. For both morn­ing and evening bus com­muters, this is even more of a prob­lem for those us­ing the No. 58 bus to con­nect to other routes and modes of trans­porta­tion head­ing to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., and other parts of Mary­land.

What I find dis­turb­ing is that MTA con­tin­ues to state that they care about the peo­ple they serve, yet their ac­tions in­di­cate oth­er­wise. There are many peo­ple like me who heav­ily de­pend on pub­lic trans­porta­tion. We need ser­vice that is fre­quent and re­li­able pro­vided by an en­tity that is car­ing and in tune with the peo­ple it serves. We need MTA to truly show that they care and not just say it.

We do not need MTA’s feigned apolo­gies and vain val­i­da­tions for their ac­tions. If they truly care, they will fix their er­rors as soon as they are brought to their at­ten­tion and en­sure the good of the peo­ple who de­pend upon their ser­vice.

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