MTA discourages employees from riding MTA

9 views
Skip to first unread message

Youssef Mahmoud

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 11:08:26 AM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
An MTA employee who'd prefer to remain anonymous has informed me of something so outrageous, I had trouble believing it.  Still, I trust this source and so I will share the story with you.  Note that I use the pronoun "he/his" without regard to the person's actual gender.  This employee works at an office accessible by light rail.  His job requires him to travel occasionally to other transit-accessible locations.  He has an active desire to use transit to get to work.  Yet, he was specifically told not to use transit to get to work - that he should drive instead.  He was told that it was too slow for him to use for inter-site travel during the work day and since they didn't always know in advance when he'd have to travel, he needed to have his car everyday.

That's right, the MTA told one of their employees not to use MTA because it's TOO SLOW to conduct business.  What is to be done about this insane culture of neglect in our transit agency?

Antero Pietila

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 11:21:13 AM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
  

 

    I can easily believe this. And the saddest part is that MTA is absolutely right. The system is so slow, poor and unpredictable that you need a car in Baltimore.
 

Fritz Ohrenschall

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 11:26:32 AM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
I guess I'd want to hear what the trip was that was being discouraged before I'd call it a "culture of neglect".  There are plenty of trips where taking MTA could waste hours on what should take minutes.  For instance, I completely understand why an MTA employee would drive to Annapolis rather than waiting for a bus which only departs hourly or less.  MTA has many problems which are its fault.  But it is also exists in a context where DOT buildings where built with little thought to their proximity to transit in a state with generally sprawling land use.  That's not MTA's fault.  Now, there are clearly some trips where transit is competitive and employees should be encouraged to use transit for those.  I just hope service keeps on improving.  Baltimore really does have a messy system and there are many reasons for that.

And Antero, that's not entirely true.  I live in Charles Village where the 3 bus, a bike, and my feet a plenty adequate for me.  Although, it does mean that I don't get out to the suburbs or outer Baltimore that often.

Antero Pietila

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 11:35:15 AM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
   I am happy for you. Most Baltimoreans -- including those who can MTA -- find that it is very difficult to get from point A to point B on mass transit if you go anywhere outside your comfort zone, i.e. daily routine.
Date: Fri, 1 Oct 2010 11:26:32 -0400
Subject: Re: [BALTOmorrow] MTA discourages employees from riding MTA
From: grena...@gmail.com
To: balto...@googlegroups.com

Youssef Mahmoud

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 11:35:38 AM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
Suburbs?  Who needs em?  I rely on those same three tools to get me around from the same home base (Charles Village).  The 3 is a mess though.  It is completely unpredictable and I consider it a treat, not a reliable source of transportation.

My understanding, and I could be wrong, is that this employee travels almost exclusively to locations along other light rail and metro stops.  Would it be too much to ask that the people who design and implement our transit use it on a day to day basis?!?  I don't think it is.  If a few of their employees occasionally need to travel to locations out of easy transit reach, the office should have a car that they can share.  They should not each by driving in their own separate cars to work every day on the off chance that they need to take a field trip.  It's outrageous.  It's neglectful.

James Hunt

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 11:40:24 AM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
Seems like it would be mighty expensive to have off-peak service extensive enough to make inter-office travel on mass transpo during the work day efficient. Not certain it would work even if we had something equivalent to the London Underground in Baltimore. (Although I'd like to find out ...)

Still, you're right Youssef, car-sharing, etc. should be part of their office menu.

Er, and at the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna, we should from time to time find things the MTA does well and encourage them. The "The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves" approach has its limits.

Youssef Mahmoud

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 11:45:48 AM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
Ohh, I got one!  This morning, my northbound light rail train stopped at Gilroy station to wait for 2 southbound trains to get out of the single-tracked portion of the line.  However, the driver took the unusual step of making a clear and pleasant announcement explaining out extended stop.  She even told us that we were waiting for 2 trains instead of one, so that no one would get antsy after the first one passed.

To say that announcements in general are something that "MTA does well" is, of course, folly.  But I certainly encourage more operators like the one I had this morning.

Gerald Neily

unread,
Oct 1, 2010, 12:16:03 PM10/1/10
to balto...@googlegroups.com
Thank you, Youssef.

Fritz, you're putting an awfully fine point on this. As far as I'm concerned, blame for MDOT and MTA is pretty much the same thing. MDOT is responsible for MTA.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages