Rider wonders: Is light rail the next MARC?
Elizabeth Muscedere,a 12-year light rail rider from Towson, had an experience this week that reminded her of the Maryland Transit Administration's recent woes on MARC. It seems that every time there's a "bus bridge" in place -- as there is this week between Cultural Center and Camden Yards-- problems ensue. Shouldn't the MTA have its quality assurance supervisors swarming the light rail stops when a bus bridge is in place, monitoring performance and answering questions? Especially on a 100+ day?
Here's Muscedere's story:
Now the Light Rail service is trying to imitate the miserable MARC train experience for its riders. Yesterday on the hottest day of the year during evening rush hour, riders had to wait more than 40 minutes for a northbound train from the Cultural Center Stop. Normally, several trains would arrive during this time but for unknown reasons a train did not arrive until almost 5:30 for passengers waiting since at least 4:50. In the afternoon there is no shade at this stop.
When it did arrive the train had no air conditioning. The sweltering passengers packed this train. Several families that must have spent a day downtown will surely think twice about ever riding the light rail again.
Fortunately, due to the construction interruption on the line between Cultural Center and Camden yards and the end of the holiday weekend, less riders than usual were waiting. However, on the MTA notices about the construction there was no mention that train service would be cut back.
Wilted Daily Light Rail Rider
When Getting There contacted the MTA, the agency provided the following reply:
Light Rail records for Tuesday July 6, 2010 indicate that three northbound light rail trains left the Cultural Center stop during the time in question.The MTA response brought this reaction from Muscedere:
They left at 4:49 pm, 5:04 pm and 5:19 pm.
Incredible!This is a difficult discrepancy to resolve. It would seem that either the letter writer's observations are incorrect, the MTA's records are in error, or there's been a misunderstanding. Were any other riders on the line Tuesday who could verify either the passenger's complaint or the MTA records?
The only way I can see this being less than completely false is they are lying about the 5:04, the 4:49 was early and the 5:19 was late!