We can’t waste the chance to fix Bal­ti­more’s buses

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Eric Nor­ton, Bal­ti­more The writer is di­rec­tor of pol­icy and pro­grams at the Cen­tral Mary­land Trans­porta­tion Al­liance.

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.