Monday, April 25, 2011

Disturbance in the Inner Harbor?

Well something triggered a mass juvenile disturbance in downtown near the Inner Harbor tonight that the police are still trying to clear up. Following @Justin_Fenton to see what's going on, but apparently there were masses of young people out causing a mess downtown.

While this is going on a few blocks away the man who spearheaded the revitilization of the harbor, and was mourned by thousands today, William Donald Schaefer, lies in state beneath the Baltimore City Hall dome. One must wonder what he would think (or do) about this.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Transit Systems on Facebook

In the next move in social networking, many transit systems have begun Facebook pages to post information, news, comments, etc direct to anyone on Facebook. The Maryland Transit Administration is no different. They have had a page for sometime now, and having viewed the posts and especially the comments you can see the good and the bad of utilizing this technology.

It's definitely a plus because the information is very accessible. MTA does not have a mobile version of its website, so it's difficult to access it from a smartphone when you need to know if your bus is detoured or the light rail is running late. Facebook on the other hand is mobile, so riders can see the information if it's updated. So far, MTA has been on top of reliably adding information on delays and changes to its Facebook page. Facebook also lets the MTA cross list events or posts from other pages that may relate to information they are sharing.

Being on Facebook also lends itself to serving as a public record for how well (or not so well) MTA does its job. Comments on the page are both positive and negative. Riders do not hesitate to make a comment when their bus is late, or why there were no updates on service changes. They've also commented about great or poor customer service while riding the system. It forces some transparency on MTA to respond to the comments that are added to their page. Moreover, it forces accountability on MTA especially when negative comments are posted.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Opening Day!

Welcome Back to the Yard!

Orioles enter opening day at Oriole Park at Camden Yards with a 3-0 record , their best since 1997, and the only team to sweep the first series of the year on the road. Here's to another season!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Charmulator Posts Highest Monthly Ridership

The Month of March ridership figures were released today and wow. The total ridership for the Charmulator in March was 188,409 or a 54% increase in ridership over February. This also exceeds the highest ridership set during the peak of last summer. The second news is that the average headways for March are the closest they have been to the 10 minute mark that is advertised. The average for the Orange Route was 11:16 and the Purple Route was 10:49.

With the addition of 5 VanHool buses in mid February, service has been a lot more reliable across the route. Additionally, much of the downtown construction that plagued the buses over the course of the past months has mostly ended.

If ridership continues at this level throughout the height of the summer tourist and vacation season, I would say that the Charm City Circulator was a successful plan by Baltimore.

In related news: have you heard of the "new" MTA buses?