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Living the Transit Lifestyle

May 24, 2011
By Guy Henderson Whether it’s that big test at school that you can’t afford to miss, the appointment for the coolest job you ever interviewed for, the doctor’s visit that’s going to keep you healthy, or just a ride to the job that frowns on latecomers, the MTA recognizes that, to our customers, there are really only two important points on earth. At least as far as their commute is concerned. Here and there. To the MTA Transit Team, “here” is where you are. “There” is where you want to be. And they’re proud to be the part of a great transportation service that lets customers (like you)... more
April 26, 2011
Governor William Donald Schaefer 1921-2011Guy HendersonContributor Baltimore, April 26, 2011 – As Mayor and Governor William Donald Schaefer lay in state in Baltimore’s City Hall this morning, one of the thousands of people whose lives he changed (without ever knowing it) took an extra couple of minutes, hand over heart, to contemplate the difference one man can make. For Baltimore. For Maryland. And for thousands of people who, except for this singular leader’s energy and vision, might have made a home elsewhere. In a time when many of us sense that our nation’s leaders seem to be working... more
April 19, 2011
Elisabeth DannerMTA InternA few weeks after moving to Baltimore from the countryside of Western Maryland, I totaled my car. I thought my life, as I knew it, was over. Learning the public transit system in Baltimore wasn’t easy for a country girl from a small town that had three stoplights. We don’t have reliable transit where I come from, which makes it nearly impossible to get anywhere without an automobile. I was overwhelmed and fearful of exploring a new city and utilizing public transit. I learned that Routes 11 and 21 would easily take me to my job in Fell’s Point, and both stops were... more
April 12, 2011
Buddy AlvesCommuter Choice Maryland Program Coordinator Even if you think you are a savvy investor and a smart money manager I’ll bet you a dollar of your hard-earned cash that you are still leaving a whole lot of money on the table. You see if you are still driving to work alone in your car you are spending a boatload of your earnings that could be saved put toward additional investments. Ten years ago my wife and I were driving separately to downtown jobs, parking in expensive garages and buying lunch at area eateries five days a week. Sure, we could afford to do so, but we had just bought... more
March 22, 2011
Could you use an extra $10,000 this year? How about next year – and the year after that? Now that gasoline prices have climbed back to an uncomfortable average of $3.47 per gallon nationwide, the American Public Transportation Association calculates that Baltimore area residents who use public transportation can save an average $829 monthly and $9,953 annually, according to a chart posted on their website. Savings for people who take public transportation haven’t been this high in two years. And from the news that’s coming out of the Middle East, it looks like prices won’t be heading downward... more
March 15, 2011
Michael Walk The MTA, like most transit agencies, uses a wide variety of performance measures to monitor and track the delivery of service. This variety of measures is what can really help us understand how we are living up to our mission. No single measure is perfect—each has its flaws and limitations. I am developing a series of posts that will discuss the different ways that MTA measures its overall performance. The purpose of this series is to provide information about: How MTA measures performance What are the actual procedures for producing some of the performance measures How... more
March 15, 2011
We recently ran across an article re-circulated at Snopes.com that was written in 1943 by one L.H. Sanders for Mass Transportation magazine. It was an industry publication targeted toward managers in transit. We offer some highlights from that article as a way to gain perspective on the gains that women have made since that time, and as a tribute that seemed just right for March – Women’s History Month. We hope you enjoy a good laugh at how times have changed. (And thank goodness for that!) Eleven Tips on Getting More Efficiency Out of Women Employees There’s no longer any question whether... more
March 8, 2011
With warmer weather finally on the way, it seemed like a good time to talk about taking your bike onto public transportation. Following through on its commitment to be a “green” agency, MTA makes it easy to take your bicycle throughout the Baltimore region. Almost any standard-size pedal powered bicycle is welcome on MTA Local Bus, Light Rail and Metro Subway vehicles. (Keep in mind, though, that MARC Trains can only handle folding bikes, and Commuter Bus vehicles aren’t equipped to handle any bicycles at this time.) We asked regular MTA rider and bicyclist Gerry Hanlon about his bicycle/bus... more
March 1, 2011
We honor the service of Mr. Percy Brown, who recently passed away after having left to the MTA and its customers a legacy of dedication and innovation that will be long remembered. Mr. Brown helped shape history in 1952 as one of Baltimore’s first African American bus operators, a position he earned only after overcoming numerous hurdles. He spoke about some of those hurdles in an article that appeared about him over a decade ago. “Although black operators could be hired, the union decided it was going to keep the colored out of those jobs was by not training them. Well, they didn’t know... more
February 9, 2011
Slate.com recently published an essay by Tom Vanderbilt entitled The Most Stressful Job on the Planet? about the challenges of working as a bus operator. It was a gratifying read for everyone at MTA who navigates the streets and highways for our customers on a daily basis.  Without listing all the “shenanigans” our bus drivers deal with every shift – you can read the article for that – suffice it to know that high blood pressure, back problems and stress-related health conditions are far higher for bus operators than for the general population. Of course, passenger safety is the number one... more

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