Friday, May 20, 2011

More on Linthicum...

Shut Linthicum station, most tell MTA at hearing

This is crazy. They want to take away a walkable station! Many people don't drive, so they don't have the ability to go to other stations. This is what many people were saying at the hearing. People who utilize Linthicum to get back and forth from work, and don't drive. Instead Citizens Against the Linthicum Light Rail, are calling foul, and demanding the hours of the station be cut, or the full station closed.

Linthicum has the potential to be a great walkable station. It is close to neighborhoods and the main drag in Linthicum, but there are definite improvements that need to be made. First, MTA needs to beef up security to ward would be criminals. Second, MTA  needs to make sure this and all stations are clean everyday. Third, have fare inspectors and MTA Police ride trains more frequently to enforce fare collection.  Fourth, add better lighting and directions signage that let potential riders know where the station is. Light rail signs for the most part are not light up at night, and at Linthicum there are no signs on the western approach to the station. Lastly, add bike racks or lockers at this station, and others, and advertise this as an option. Just because it doesn't have a parking lot doesn't make it useless.

Most of all this is also clearly a case of NIMBYism. Neighbors are worried about one crime from kids from Halethorpe? First of all, the light rail doesn't go to Halethorpe and there aren't any bus connections at Linthicum, but I'm sure they didn't know that because they never ride the light rail. So, how do you think the kids got there then?

The real issue here is with the MTA, in my opinion. MTA does not do a great job in maintaining its stations, especially on the light rail. When new signs and route maps were added downtown, this was not done at other place. (Note: most station still have rail maps that show how the line was previous to 2006). Stations rarely have updated schedules posted, nor are they replaced when they are not there. The P.A. system is in shambles, although there are plans to have this all replaced (but then again will MTA decide to use them?).

MTA also does not do a great job in letting people know about the system or its stations. Have you ever read the General Information on the website? It's two short paragraphs. Stations do not have maps or information that tells riders what is near the station, nor do they have bus or rail connection maps to tell you how to say transfer to the Metro or MARC.

This should be a wake up call to the MTA. They need to improve their system, and the custom information process. And they wonder why the Light Rail has never met is daily ridership expectations even after 20 years!

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