Light Rail light on planning
I attended last night’s Ravens game, and like most of the crowd, I bailed out halfway through the third-quarter because, let’s face it, sitting in the rain watching the third string play a game that doesn’t count is not that exciting no matter how big of a fan you are. And we took the light rail to the game.
Upon arriving at the stadium light rail stop, a train on its way to the BWI station was waiting to leave. After a moment it left. And then we waited for the next train to Cromwell. And waited. And waited. And waited. And waited some more. And waited. And waited. And waited. For 25 minutes.
Yes, waited 25 minutes for a light rail train to come, during an event the entire free world knew was going on, and fans were encouraged (encouraged) to take light rail in order to avoid delays.
By the time the train showed up, the line waiting for a southbound train extended from the platform all of the way up the ramp and up to the bridge that crosses the CSX/MARC tracks leading to the stadium. It took 1 hour and 15 minutes to leave my seat, and wind up back in my car at Cromwell station.
I don’t know what kind of dog and pony show they are running over at the MTA, but somebody needs to get a grip. When you are encouraging people to use mass transit, you simply cannot have situations like last night happen. When you are fully aware that people are going to be leaving throughout the game, due to its nature as a preseason game, preparations need to be made in order to have trains running at a constant level. It certainly does not help ridership to have individuals stand and wait, and wait, and wait for a train to come if only because it discourages the use of mass transit and fuels the public perception that American mass transit fails the public.
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And on top of everything else, as a taxpayer I certainly do not want to be subsidizing a system with my tax dollars that cannot operate with some sort of common sense and preparation. Particularly when the taxpayer dollars could be used to expand the highway system to alleviate currently existing traffic conditions.