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June 3, 2009

Reader misses MTA service to games

Tom Marcinak of Abingdon sends this lament, with an inquiry as to whether relief is in sight. Short answer: no.

 Mr. Dresser, do you know if there are any discussions concerning changing the express busses for Oriole's and Raven's games back to the way they were two years ago? It is very expensive and much less convenient to use the private charter services. Where I once could take my daughter to a Raven's game from the Whitemarsh park n ride to Camden yards for under $ 20.00, now cost more then $ 40.00 and takes over an hour or more to get back to the park n ride due to the location the charter busses must park. I know of the federal regulation changing the rule for public transportation to be used, but I don't think anyone is happy about the situation. The bus drivers hate it, and the passengers are disgusted. There are other cites that are still using public transportation, provided the private companies aren't interested or can't provide the service. I'm sure it isn't helping the attendance at baseball games either, with all the parking hassles. Any news?

Long answer: As far as I know, the only ones happy about the situation are the charter bus companies. The rule was put in place for their benefit under the Bush administration, which took the view that public  dollars were being used to subsidize competition with private enterprises. I know of no efforts in the works to undo the ruling. As far as I know, other public transit agencies must follow the same rules as the MTA.

This in from MTA spokeswoman Jawauna Greene: No new news. Riders essentially need to lobby Congressional folks. As a transit agency,our hands are tied. We try our best to promote the other transit options, this really is a federal football.

Posted by Michael Dresser at 11:56 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: On the roads


Are they able to add cars to the Light Rail? At recent games we've been treated to the usual weekend two-car trains, which, at every 20 minutes or so, really makes them packed beyond intended capacity.

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About Michael Dresser
Michael Dresser has been an editor, reporter and columnist with The Sun longer than Baltimore's had a subway. He's covered retailing, telecommunications, state politics and wine. Since 2004, he's been The Sun's transportation writer. He lives in Ellicott City with his wife and travel companion, Cindy.

His Getting There column appears on Mondays. Mike's blog will be a forum for all who are interested in highways, transit and other transportation issues affecting Baltimore, Maryland and the region.

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