MTA is committed to providing accurate, timely...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 05, 2000

MTA is committed to providing accurate, timely information

I was glad to see The Sun's editorial following last week's snowstorm focus on the sense of community generated by the winter weather. But what concerned me was the editorial's suggestion that the MTA did not provide accurate and up-to-date schedule information on its Website during the storm ("Sudden nor'easter brings out good, bad," Jan. 27).

That was an unfair characterization of our overall communication efforts.

The editorial is correct that the time reflected on our Website's "Snow Update" area was not changed hourly. But it is important to stress that the service information was both accurate and current

Customers who focused on the time the Website listed might have thought that its information was outdated.

We sincerely apologize for this. But it should not overshadow our overall efforts.

From the first forecast for winter weather, the MTA reminded citizens about the availability of mass transit. Throughout the storm, MTA Transit Team Reporters provided around-the-clock radio and television updates on the status of our service.

Information was also available from the MTA's telephone center.

The MTA is serious about communicating with our customers. We are the only transit agency in the country with a transit team communications network of reporters who provide daily transit updates.

We are also the only transit agency in the country with a television show that provides statewide transit information. The show is seen on cable TV in Baltimore City, and in Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Anne Arundel counties. Next month, we will begin a radio show to further strengthen our communications efforts.

To those who logged on to our Website during the storm and thought its information was old, we apologize.

But the Mass Transit Administration is committed to providing our customers with information that is as timely and accurate as possible. I pledge that this commitment will continue.

Anthony Brown, Baltimore

The writer is director of communications and marketing for the Mass Transit Administration.

Thanks to the bus drivers and the National Guard . . .

Bravo to the Mass Transit Administration bus drivers who ventured out to get us to work during last week's snowstorm.

I rarely take the MTA, but out of necessity I took it to and from work Jan. 26-27. The bus drivers were friendly, helpful and went out of their way to see that I knew where to transfer.

They also were prompt. I only had to wait more than five minutes for the bus once.

The driving was treacherous, but I felt I was in good hands.

I hope the MTA recognizes the effort the drivers gave under difficult circumstances.

Marilyn Manning, Baltimore

I'm writing about what a great help the National Guard was after the Jan. 25 snowstorm.

My husband had to go to a dialysis center and the guardsmen came and picked him up in time for his treatment.

I don't know what we would have done without them.

Mary Rupkey, Baltimore

. . . and to the mayor, and the governor

On Jan. 26, the day after our big snow, we received a call from the mayor's office asking if we were in need of anything.

We thanked the polite caller, and said we were fine, but it sure would be nice to see a snow plow on our street. We were told they were working on it.

Four hours later we had a plow on our street, and that's a first in 41 years.

Our hats are off to Mayor Martin O'Malley and his staff.

Tess Ryan and Frank Ryan, Baltimore

I have been a registered voter in Baltimore since 1947 and have never known of a mayor, Democrat or Republican, to show the concern for the elders that Mayor Martin O'Malley did Jan. 26.

Everything was still a mess because of the storm, but I got a call from one of the mayor's aides asking if I needed anything. So did my friends and neighbors.

I also commend our governor for calling out the National Guard.

Lorraine Olver, Baltimore

A visitor who was shocked by condition of area streets

Visiting the Baltimore area over the weekend of Jan 29-30, I was shocked to see how poorly the streets were plowed -- five days after the previous storm.

I attempted to find parking on Joppa Road, but couldn't. I then tried to find parking on any side street, and my car bottomed out on the unplowed street.

If that had happened in my area, the suburbs of New York, people would be screaming and politicians would be hung.

Don't the people of Baltimore demand the services their taxes have paid for?

Ed Niebuhr, Fair Lawn, N.J.

For safety and courtesy, let's all slow down in snow

When I run on my neighborhood's streets every morning, I have to dodge speeding drivers who swerve at the last moment and force me to run in the gutter.

When it snows my safe passage narrows to an icy strip between the plowed snowbanks and the speeding drivers.

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