Boom. There’s that. After a less than 24-hour notice, the metro system will be closed down for an entire month (until March 11th). Apparently, they spotted some “urgent issues” that were so dire, that they had to work on it immediately. Sounds good, right? Well, there’s a slight problem–what will happen to the 40,000 weekday riders and the 14,000 weekend riders? That’s an easy answer. They’ll take the bus of course. Then, the bus will be late. Then, they’ll be late to work. Do you see the trickle down affect that dilapidated transit has on residents who rely on public transit? Let me break it down even further—
Everyone—EVERYONE in the city knows that the metro is much more reliable than the buses. This is a fact. You have residents who solely ride the metro, because the metro gets them to their destination without the need to ride a bus. Now, you also have those who solely ride the bus, because the bus may be their only option, as the metro’s destinations are limited. Now that the metro is down, these metro riders will now have to ride the bus. This means much more crowded bus stops and busses. This means that some folks will not be able to get picked up, because the busses will fill to capacity much quicker. This means longer wait times, which ultimately mean lateness, frustration and consequences in the workplace.
Gov. Larry Hogan said that money has been put into the system–“lots of it”. We saw the beginning of Baltimore Link, a supposedly “new” system, that cost $135 Million to initiate. This system was intended on linking residents to downtown and to other places of business for better work accessibility. However, we’ve seen everything BUT speedy service. Busses are still late and people are still unsatisfied with the services. Some folks will even ask, “what is the difference between the old and the new?”
There are no significant difference.
What exactly did you spend the money on? None of it went to the metro apparently!
Until people who drive start caring just as much about public transit as the transit riders do, nothing will change—and we desperately need change.