Transit Choices

Baltimore needs a first class public transit and as it stands now, we will doomed to a third class system.

Ben Groff was the moderator for the day.  He announced that the previous day the $9.8 million grant for North Avenue Rising was approved.  The meeting was held on Thursday 23 May 2019.

The first speaker was Kevin Quinn, MTA Administrator.  He commented that there are a lot of MTA people present. 

Kevin said that over 97,000 app downloads for the CharmPass Mobility Ticketing and this generated $4.3 million of revenues.  It is 14$ of the MARC purchasing and 7% on buses and light rail.  It is operated through WMATA.

I use the CharmPass for MARC train.  One conductor advised a customer to wait until he got on the train to buy his ticket.  I have been doing that.  In the past I used to buy the ticket for my next trip as I wait for my train at Union Station.  Often I would purchase enough for two round-trip tickets. 

Right before I went to the Holy Lands in Israel, I used the CharmPass instead of the CharmCard since I needed one day of service and my last CharmCard pass expired.  If I had used the CharmCard, I would be paying for 31 days but using only 14 days. 

MTA has doubled citations from last year for dedicated bus lane violations. I wish that they would increase citations for parking at bus stop.

Kevin also stated that Real-Time Bus Information has been really successful.  For the first time ever in February they used GPS on buses to build their schedule.  I have been using the Transit app frequently now.  On Tuesday 2 July 2019 I needed to go to the V.A.  The Transit app made a big difference.  I knew exactly where to go to get the right bus.

They are getting calls about bus stops and they are putting out a bus stop design guide.  Many of the commuter buses are still using the old bus stop signs.  I personally find this confusing.

A woman asked about data translated into other languages.  Right now most of the data is English only or English and Spanish only.

Art Guzzetti, vice president of American Public Transportation Association, said that we are fortunate to have Kevin at the MTA.  All the industry revenue sources are important.  There is no such thing as a failure.  Before he figured out how to build the light bulb, Thomas Edison found 2,000 ways not to build it.  Over 70% of the people want more public transit and are willing to pay for it.

Electric vehicles do not pay gas tax and therefore there should be some fee.

Jimmy Rouse said that we are in the process of doing a survey.

We also discussed the water taxi service.  It was cut this winter and the ridership has fallen off 68%.  Under Armor brought it.  How do we rebuild and expand it?

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Kevin Quinn, MTA Administrator

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Art Guzzetti, VP, APTA

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Keys to Rebuilding America

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Ben Groff, today's moderator

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Jimmy Rouse of Transit Choices

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