MTA hopes Ravens fans will return for opener

August 31, 1996|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

Despite some angry responses from bus riders and a decline in ridership to the last Ravens exhibition game, Mass Transit Administration officials say they have worked out the bugs and are hoping riders come out in full force for tomorrow's home opener.

"We still see it as being the most convenient way of going to the stadium. Most fans seem to be happy with the way the service went at the last game," said Nanci Philips, an MTA spokeswoman.

Mass transit officials, hoping to use Ravens games to showcase public transportation, saw ridership drop from about 18,000 for the first home exhibition game on Aug. 3 to 13,000 on Aug. 17.

But the Aug. 17 game was a success in working out some of the glitches from the first game, Philips said, and several riders praised the MTA on the Internet for its effort to have more buses waiting for fans outside the stadium.

After the first game, thousands of angry football fans waited an hour for buses that had become stuck in traffic because of poor traffic control.

Several complained in letters to the MTA and on the Internet, but since then, the MTA seems to have redeemed itself.

"As I was quick enough to stone the MTA for the Ravens bus fiasco, it is only right that I toss a bouquet when I have a markedly better experience," said John J. Snyder of Columbia, one of those who waited after the first game, whose wife, Micki, went to the game on Aug. 17 and "was pleased with the bus situation this time around."

Another 300 buses will be used for tomorrow's opening game. The MTA announced that for tomorrow only, the Timonium park-and-ride lot will be moved to Hunt Valley Mall's parking lot, off Exit 20 from Interstate 83, because of parking-space limitations created by the Maryland State Fair in Timonium.

Pub Date: 8/31/96

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