Thursday, June 17, 2010

Park and Ride

I must admit that some mornings I drive to the train station when I could take the bus. The thing that separates Baltimore buses from say New York or Washington D.C. is that they are notoriously unreliable. The other morning my co-worker (who lives in D.C.) was talking about how the bus took ten to fifteen minutes to get to her stop. I had to laugh to myself since that is how frequently the buses run in Baltimore during rush hour. Compared to other cities Baltimore's public transportation system is subpar at best. It is definitely a car dependent city. If you do not own a car everything becomes a little bit harder. What could convince the city to spend more money on public transportation? A city should not require a car. It is not like there aren't people who take the bus. The bus was so crowded the other day that people were standing over the yellow line. With the amount of people that own weekly and monthly bus passes there could not possibly be a shortage of funds. There is an underwhelming desire to improve the system from its current state because people have become complacent. Even if they have to sit through traffic and even if it cost less to buy a monthly pass than to pay for gas they would still rather drive. Why is this? Because no one wants to wait for extended periods of time for the bus only to find themselves standing again on an overcrowded bus once it finally decides to arrive. It is an important step in the growth of Baltimore to improve upon the areas in which it is lacking. It needs to be competitive in order to become an attractive location to the military families being brought in by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). If it can not compete then families will look elsewhere. This is a chance to bring in much needed money to a city with so much untaped potential. Otherwise Baltimore will always wonder what if.

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