Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Sporadic, Erratic #11

Since I've moved to my swinging new bachelor pad I no longer need to catch the Nutty #19, but I'll always cherish our times together.

My new bus of choice is the #11 and for the most part it's perfect.  The stop is down the block from the crib and it drops me off very close to work.  It's as close to a perfect route as I've ever experienced.

That said, even perfection can be erratic at times.

One of those times; um, how about every Saturday between 3pm and 4pm?

I'm for real.  I've got to be Downtown by 4pm on Saturday. It's a long story involving "court ordered" "supervised visitation" in a "public place." The point is I've got someplace to be at 4pm.

So, I leave the swinging bachelor pad at 2:55.  The #11 is supposed to be at Maryland & North Ave at 3:08.  And that's two stops after the one that I get on.  I should be golden.

But I never am. I get to the bus stop and it's never in sight.  Usually if the bus is early and parked at Maryland & North Ave to wait to get back on schedule, I'll be able to see it from my stop.  But not on Saturdays.

And to make matters worse, the bus that comes a half hour later is MIA too.  No joke, there've been times when I've spent fifty minutes sitting at the bus stop waiting for a bus to come.  And the past few months it's been particularly brick outside.

In addition to the time spent, I've also spend over $60 on cabs.  That's a decent chunk of change to fork out on an unexpected expense and it's certainly not part of the transportation budget.

This isn't a new situation either.  Way back in July I was irked enough to fire off an email while waiting for the bus.

Here's what I sent them;

You should really open up the complaint line on the weekends because drivers are acting with impunity. On the weekends drivers don't keep to timetables. Case in point; I'm at Maryland & 23rd waiting for the #11 and I've been here since 1pm. If the bus was supposed to get to Maryland & North at 1:09, why have I been out here for close to half an hour waiting?

When busdrivers don't have to worry about oversight they become reckless, which in this case can affect lives.

Ok, so I exaggerated the whole "affecting loves" angle, but mostly everything else is on point.  And more to the point, it got this response;

Thank you for your email to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) regarding our Transit Information Services (Call Center) hours.  Several years ago, after reviewing the volume of calls received, the service hours were reduced as a cost-savings measure.  We have, just last week, increased the evening hours to try and help our commuters on their way home.  We do have supervisory personnel out on the streets on weekends monitoring the service, and we suggest patrons call the Information Services number on Monday to report any weekend concerns and our personnel will research and make adjustments as needed.

Thank you for taking the time to write,

Glenn Litsinger, Deputy Director
Office of Customer Information
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore MD  21202

Of course I sent this back in July and I'm still having issues in February, so clearly voicing my grievances with the Maryland Transit Administration had zero effect on the quality of service I receive.

Perhaps this post will be more effective?

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