We can’t waste the chance to fix Baltimore’s buses
In a letter to the editor (“Cummings offers no solutions for Baltimore transit,” Oct.6) responding to Congressman Elijah Cummings’ recent op-ed (“Missing links in BaltimoreLink bus plan,” Sept. 30), the letter writer takes issue with a report issued by the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance. The writer claims that a “basic problem” with our analysis was the “use of ‘transportation zones’ to measure service” and that “zones don’t ride transit, people do.”
We wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, but the writer is completely wrong about our analysis. We used census blocks, not “transportation zones” because census blocks designate where people live. The term “transportation zone” — whatever that is — does not appear in our report at all. And we didn’t measure service, we measured access. This is a critical point because the amount of bus service is just a means to an end. Ultimately, what we are concerned about is improving individuals’ access to jobs, schools and healthy food.
Additionally, the writer claims we avoid making recommendations. In fact, our report makes specific recommendations to improve on the BaltimoreLink plan, including adding more weekend service, providing better connections to key regional employment centers, and increasing the investment in capital projects that will improve bus speed and reliability.
The purpose of our report was simply to provide an independent review of the plan, identify any possible shortcomings, and encourage the state to address those shortcomings. BaltimoreLink represents a rare opportunity to make significant changes to the way our regional transportation performs, and we can’t afford to miss it.