Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

November 02, 2003

Transit department is defended

The articles "Public defender weighs moving," Oct. 23, and "Seeking better transit options," Oct. 24, mentioned the activities of the Annapolis Department of Transportation. We take issue with a misstatement in one article that makes us look bad and want to clarify a point in the other.

The first article on the potential move of the Public Defender's Office raised concerns of Public Defender Stephen Harris "about clients in need of transportation from the courthouse to the office who cannot afford bus fare."

Our 75-cent fare, among the lowest in Maryland, can hardly be a barrier for clients. It should be obvious that they are already driving, taking taxicabs or using public transit unless they walk from home.

The Annapolis Department of Transportation will be more than happy to discuss special fare arrangements, or the sale of discounted tokens to the Public Defender's Office. We currently operate two very busy shuttle routes throughout downtown and both are free at all times.

As for the second article, Ryan Davis' otherwise fine story on TransAACT, a new coalition advocating improved transit in Anne Arundel County, we wish to explain that the unpleasant bus ride from Arnold to Annapolis described by local resident Ann Fligsten was not on an Annapolis Transit bus.

When she described her inability to find a schedule and having to "trample through weeds to reach the bus stop" she was referring to another bus system. Our C-40 Route that now links Arnold to Annapolis and Edgewater was not even operating at that time of her ride.

This route is partially funded by Anne Arundel County and has been serving more and more customers all the time. I spoke with Ms. Fligsten over a year ago about her experience. That may be one reason why she is now leading a call for enhanced transit service in our area.

Since we opened C-40, every one of our stops between the Anne Arundel Community College and Edgewater has been well marked with a colorful sign and map of the route. I don't see any overgrown vegetation at these stops. We are giving out 25,000 copies of our combined map and schedule. Our web page, www.annapolis.gov/transport is consistently among the most heavily visited on the city's site. We appreciate The Sun's continuing and comprehensive coverage of public transit issues, and we are always pleased to provide information and answer any questions.

Paul Foer

The writer is a marketing specialist at the Annapolis Department of Transportation.

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