Life for mass transit WHO SAYS public transportation is...

NOTES AND COMMENTS

May 12, 2000

Life for mass transit

WHO SAYS public transportation is dying?

Not the American Public Transportation Association. APTA reports that mass transit use has reached a 40-year high. More than 9 million Americans rode public buses, trains and trolleys last year.

The figure is encouraging, but not surprising. Highways and local roads aren't getting any less crowded.

Transit ridership rose 15 percent nationally between 1995 and 1999, according to APTA, but increased only 4.6 percent in Baltimore. Again, not surprising.

While other state and city governments are on the fast track for federal funds, the poorly coordinated transit plans in the Baltimore region still seem stuck in the station without a map.

Honoring journalists

THE NAMES of 332 journalists who died while covering the news since 1812, including 40 killed in 1999, were added last week to the Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial in Arlington, Va.

Those additions bring the number of reporters, editors, photographers and broadcasters honored to 1,369.

Ten journalists were killed in Sierra Leone, the deadliest country for newsgatherers.

Although some of the journalists named on the memorial died in accidents rather than being murdered, the toll is a reminder that newsgathering can be dangerous and the access to information we take for granted here comes at a great price elsewhere.

Help needed

DOZENS OF at-risk Baltimore children could be denied the help they need with the closing of eight programs by the Woodbourne Center.

Woodbourne, which got into trouble because it grew too fast, says it will not drop children it serves, but it won't be able to help the next wave of youngsters in need of psychiatric services and before- and after-school care.

Maryland's family of nonprofit organization numbers nearly 1,000. Most are strained for resources, but they must work to fill the void the closings will cause.

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