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Living the Transit Lifestyle

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 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 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