Article, editorial confuse

March 14, 1998

The Sun's March 2 article "Driving patterns of the past create problems for today" and the March 6 editorial "Wrong way on mass transit," taken together, may have done more to confuse than inform readers on this issue.

The article did an excellent job of explaining why highways and mass-transit systems are less capable of relieving the growing congestion on the highways. But the editorial seems to contradict the article, promoting expansion of mass transit despite the lack of funds and the inability of these services to meet the needs of commuters.

The editorial presumes that reducing or eliminating the 50 percent fare box requirement would solve all the problems.

But closer examination will show that it could not have a significant impact on the real problem -- that mass transit in Maryland is grossly underfunded.

Maryland's mass transit system is the nation's only one primarily dependent on gas tax revenues that are insufficient to meet the financial requirements for the improvements you recommend.

Furthermore, gas taxes are the primary source of funding for the highway improvements that the earlier article indicates are needed to address the primary problem: changing commuter patterns.

Christopher B. Costello

Glen Burnie

The writer is grass-roots coordinator for Marylanders for Efficient and Safe Highways.

Pub Date: 3/14/98

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