MTA CAC

The MTA encourages citizens to get involved with the operations of the system.

Janelle Mummey, Legislative Manager, Office of Governmental Affairs told us that there was a 2% flat cut across the board that all agencies were required to do.  The budget is as introduced by the Governor.

HB576 did not get out of committee.  It creates an administrative board to run MTA.  We did not feel that an oversight board was the way to go about it.  We wanted To give the new administration time to see what the MTA has.  A compromise was a budget narrative which is supposed to show how we plan to improve.  It will go on the website and it will be updated every quarter starting 1 October 2015.

We might have some public briefings about that but we are still trying to work out all the details.  We hope to have something by next meeting of what our plans will look like.

MTA is required to report on how real time is coming.  They are still on the beta stage.  It will be a year of evaluation for MTA.  }

HB866, wire tapping, was ruled unfavorable.  It would had required the operator to start recording device when there is an incident on the bus.  By this time it is too late.

HB1198, Baltimore City Civilian Review Board, would had required MTA police to report to Baltimore City.  This would had also required the University of Baltimore Police to report to Baltimore City.  We were taken out of the bill by amendments. 

The new MTA administrator is big on accountability and statistics.  He has had transit experience He wants to turn around the Titanic before it hits the iceberg.

Questions and Answers

One woman was at the MTA hearing for the budget with some other people.  Are there any comment period or additional testimony?  There is no comment period and the budget has passed and the governor does not have to sign it.  The budget starts in August for the next year.

  A regular attendee asked is there money for BNIP.  Just for Phrase I.  They have not decided on the next phase.

He also asked if MTA looked into tapping revenues from lottery, etc.  so that MTA can do its job?  Ed said that the governor is a tax cutting governor.

Another man said that WMATA looks at accessibility as a means of increasing ridership.  Has MTA done the same?  Janelle does not know.  It will probably be a high priority of his to increase access.

Freeman: Was the oversight for the MTA just Baltimore City?  Yes. 

Somebody asked "What is the fare box recovery issue?"  Transit as a whole is not a profit making entity.  The State wants the fare box to pay for 35% of the system.  MARC is about 50%.  The rest is less than 35%.  Delegates from other areas think that we are subsidizing transit too much.

We asked for a meeting of External Affairs an Finance.  State law limits how much transportation can raise fare and it is linked to the consumer index.  It is illegal to raise the fare fast enough and it is illegal not to raise the fare enough.  The studied required does not show how many people are being stranded.  It is essential to address this problem.

Janelle said that all of our bills have to go through MDOT.

A woman had a question about Title VI.  There is no state level equivalent in Annapolis.  Any agency that receives federal funding must adhere to Title VI.  This is a civil rights law.  The LOTS agencies also have to adhere to Title VI funding.

Elmer Coppage, Manager, Operations Training, Training Department told us that he is responsible for a total of eight manager trainers   Some are master instructors.  He is a former bus operator and  drove for ten years before becoming an instructor.  He has been with MTA 26 years.  We have a total of 28 union instructors.  We have 28 bus operators who assist in the training department.  They still perform their duties as operators.  He also uses the system.  He is out there and sees some of the things we need to improve upon.  We have 60 operators in training right now.

Our operators have to be confine to a wheel chair and use the system so that they can have a better understanding of what our customers go through.  We also have a bus limo that supports our training.

Our operators have to earn their badges They have to prove to us that they are qualified bus operators.  Our standards are very high.  We had to qualify four Friday and today.

We have a re-certification program.  We follow up and make sure that the operators are following the rules.

The summit system makes sure that anybody behind the wheel is driving safely.  The 300:29:1 theory.  300 unsafe acts lead to 29 accidents which can lead to one death.  All of our customers make our pay day possible.  He explained this and handed out literature on it.

We want our operators to understand “have you found a purpose in life?”  We motivate people to find their purpose.

A man mentioned two incidents.  He sees a cover over the fare box and a card board in the dollar bill slot.  He said that most of the drivers have the patience of a priest.

A blind man said that he attended one of the trainings and he commends the MTA for doing a great job.  "Have you every considered using people with disabilities as a means of monitoring operators for compliance?"    Elmer said that we will be glad to implement something like that. 

A woman asked about rail stations.  She wants porta johns at the stations. We did not go into that at this time, I think.

A woman reported that on Friday 8 May an operator made her feel so bad.  He was praying with his shoes off while customers wait.  When she questioned him, he was nasty.  There is a time and place for everything.  Other people said that this is the norm for him. 

Mr. Thornton is a director of human resources.  Our operators are required to be certified every two years.  If we get complaints on an operator, we will recertify him.  We do monitor operators.

A man has a problem with Charmcard.  He said that the operators do not know how to deal with it.  Although I did not say this at the meeting, the operators with whom I spoke prefer the CharmCard.  One operator said that they are much harder to forge.

We want our operators to understand, we don’t want them to survive, we want them to strive.

Ed Cohen said that a big problem is that the operators don’t know the rules.  One is a lay over at a loop.  We need to make sure that the operators know the rules.  Elmer said that they know the rules, but some just don’t comply.  We have the two percent.  We document and get them out the door.

The bus operators badge number is on the right hand side of the operator’s collar.  The block number and most important the bus time, the time, the location, and be clear on what happens.

The budge number must be displayed on the right hand side.  You also need the direction the bus is going when filing a complaint.  410-539-5000.

Tonight we are meeting at Kirk.  Come in the building on the Kirk side.

Buddy Alves has retired.  Ed put together corrections to the rail connection map.  Look at the map and if you find any errors, report them to Judy.

We are concerned about the east side of the #10 line.  Denise Hagan wants to meet with those interested in being a covert monitor.  It is an operations issue.  We want to focus on if the bus is late, overcrowded, etc.

Freeman talked about Kaiser Permanente bus loop.  Ed said that we are trying to get a transponder to announce that the bus is coming.

Above I mentioned the CharmCard.  I have been using it for almost five years now and I love it.  I find it extremely convenient.  I buy my monthly pass on line usually a month in advance.  Thus, I do not have to watch the calendar to make sure that I get to an outlet during the few days at the end of the current month.  Currently I have a pass for May and June on my card plus money from the subway in Washington DC.

That afternoon I attended a community meeting on the Kirk Division Modernization Projects.

John Armstrong said that building is moving along very well.  It looks like April 2016.  MBE has put more restricts on us.  This also extended the length of the project.  It is a voluntary clean up project.

Ed Cohen asked how do these delays impact the budget.  We are still under negotiation.  It depends on the activities.  We are still within our contract value.  There were fuel tanks in the ground that had to be dealt with in certain matter.  If we can’t stay within it, we go to the Board of Public Works for additional funding.

It was the residents who expressed concerns about underground tanks.  The tanks were under the building and the residents knew it.  They were inside the building underground.  Even the drawings for the old building didn’t show them.  There was some oily dirt, but the tanks were not leaking.  They had to pump the fuels outside the tanks and then remove the tanks.  At Orleans and Broadway they had to replace the drilling equipment and replace all the metallic parts with non-metallic parts.

Roger  deals with Phase I.  The design for Phase II is complete and MTA will be advertising it.  Contractors are approaching us.   We are looking to have bids this summer.  We have over 200 plan sheets and 4,000 pages of specifications.  Our budget and expected bids are this fall or late October.

The first activity of Phase II property is to go down the street.  There is a big lot on Howard Street by Remington.  It is a big parking lot with a building.  It is a good place to park buses while we demolish and build a new building in the current location.  Our duration for construction is estimated for three years.  We are leasing the property.  The lease was signed 1 April 2015.

The project is funded.  We did have some increases.  The sooner we get Phase II under way, the sooner we get out of the way.

Phase II documents require the contractors to concentrate on the temporary location.  The contractors will have plans for the temporary sites.

Ed Cohen asked about cleaning up the site after the lease.  We can leave reasonable debris.  We are making improvements to their building.  There will be reasonable wear allowed.

Ed asked if there is any right to acquire the property after the lease.  We are not looking to acquiring the property.

The temporary site at Remington is only for parking buses.  Maintenance will be at Kirk.  Parking will be in the Remington building.  Employees will park there.  When Phase I is completed there will be plenty of parking.

Linda asked about widening the alley.  It is outside John’s project.  There are utility poles which need to be moved.  They will stay where they are.

Linda said that the poles are not an issue.  They are right off the alley.  We need a wider alley.  They just opened the 800 block for people to park.  It is not off the radar.  It is a part of the puzzle.  The ultimate widening of that is up to Baltimore City.  We have land that we like to give them.

MTA has submitted offers to the Ferguson property to acquire.  What we do with that is TBD.  I’d like to say that by this fall it will be MTA property.

A neighbor wants to know what they can do about the dirty.  She has two children who are chronic asthmatic and so is she.  John said that in the contracts there is specifications for dirt control.  Our people are watching it all te time.  They were cutting bricks in half with their saws.  This is a new one for John.  He will address it tomorrow.

Roger said that there’s dust with construction.  The woman asked if they are giving vouchers for car washing.  They are supposed to keep the dirt on site.

Hiring Plan Update by Wayne Morse.  Right now we have ten people hired and two are still working on the project and we need to raise the number.  Homeless, veterans, single parents, criminal records, are all eligible.  WE understand the high unemployment rate here and we want to change that.  The City is considered a distress area and there is no age limit.  We are hoping to 15 to 20.  We have to give the contractors the skill sets that they need.

One person came on and was good and he referred another friend of his and they both are there.

The Phase II project will continue the hiring initiative.  There are other projects out there as well.  This is a pilot project for both the Red and the Purple lines.  It is a test project for us and we want to make it work.  Do not enter the site.  The telephone numbers are legitimate.  When you call, say that you want to get on the Kirk Modernization program.  Wayne printed 500 cards.


ohn Armstrong said that building is moving along very well.  It looks like April 2016.  MBE has put more restricts on us.  This also extended the length of the project.  It is a voluntary clean up project.

Ed Cohen asked how do these delays impact the budget.  We are still under negotiation.  It depends on the activities.  We are still within our contract value.  There were fuel tanks in the ground that had to be dealt with in certain matter.  If we can’t stay within it, we go to the Board of Public Works for additional funding.

It was the residents who expressed concerns about underground tanks.  The tanks were under the building and the residents knew it.  They were inside the building underground.  Even the drawings for the old building didn’t show them.  There was some oily dirt, but the tanks were not leaking.  They had to pump the fuels outside the tanks and then remove the tanks.  At Orleans and Broadway they had to replace the drilling equipment and replace all the metallic parts with non-metallic parts.

Roger ______ {Krk} points to Phase I.  The design for Phase II is complete and MTA will be advertising it.  Contractors are approaching us.   We are looking to have bids this summer.  We have over 200 plan sheets and 4,000 pages of specifications.  Our budget and expected bids are this fall or late October.

The first activity of Phase II property is to go down the street.  There is a big lot on Howard Street by Remington.  It is a big parking lot with a building.  It is a good place to park buses while we demolish and build a new building in the current location.  Our duration for construction is estimated for three years.  We are leasing the property.  The lease was signed 1 April 2015.

The project is funded.  We did have some increases.  The sooner we get Phase II under way, the sooner we get out of the way.

Phase II documents require the contractors to concentrate on the temporary location.  The contractors will have plans for the temporary sites.

Ed Cohen asked about cleaning up the site after the lease.  We can leave reasonable debris.  We are making improvements to their building.  There will be reasonable wear allowed.

Ed asked if there is any right to acquire the property after the lease.  We are not looking to acquiring the property.

The temporary site at Remington is only for parking buses.  Maintenance will be at Kirk.  Parking will be in the Remington building.  Employees will park there.  When Phase I is completed there will be plenty of parking.

Linda asked about widening the alley.  It is outside John’s project.  There are utility poles which need to be moved.  They will stay where they are.

Linda said that the poles are not an issue.  They are right off the alley.  We need a wider alley.  They just opened the 800 block for people to park.  It is not off the radar.  It is a part of the puzzle.  The ultimate widening of that is up to Baltimore City.  We have land that we like to give them.

MTA has submitted offers to the Ferguson property to acquire.  What we do with that is TBD.  I’d like to say that by this fall it will be MTA property.

A neighbor wants to know what they can do about the dirty.  She has two children who are chronic asthmatic and so is she.  John said that in the contracts there is specifications for dirt control.  Our people are watching it all te time.  They were cutting bricks in half with their saws.  This is a new one for John.  He will address it tomorrow.

Roger said that there’s dust with construction.  The woman asked if they are giving vouchers for car washing.  They arae supposed to keep the dirt on site.

Hiring Plan Update by Wayne Morse.  Right now we have ten people hired and two are still working on the project and we need to raise the number.  Homeless, veterans, single parents, criminal records, are all eligible.  We understand the high unemployment rate here and we want to change that.  The City is considered a distress area and there is no age limit.  We are hoping to 15 to 20.  We have to give the contractors the skill sets that they need.

One came on and was good and he referred another friend of his and they both are there.

The Phase II project will continue the hiring initiative.  There are other projects out there as well.  This is a pilot project for both the Red and the Purple lines.  It is a test project for us and we want to make it work.  Do not enter the site.  The telephone numbers are legitimate.  When you call, say that you want to get on the Kirk Modernization program.  Wayne printed 500 cards.

Midway Community Park Update

MTA wants feed back from you on how you are using the park.  We are working with Baltimore City Parks and Recreation for a maintenance plan.  We hope that they will take over the maintenance and security of the park.

Right now MTA is maintaining the park, including police.  MTA and Baltimore City police share responsibility.  The park is being maintained by contractors until December 2015 when Recs and Parks takes over.

Community Updates and Parking events

Sandy Coles.  April and May have been really busy.  A focus group was developed some time ago.

People are looking forward to the park.  They are just waiting for the ceremony.  They love the looks of the park.  Judy Bellemy said that the MTA wants to work with yo all.

After the meeting I went over to Midway Park and took photos.  It was late and the sun was already setting.


 

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