Letters to the Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Riders really need more frequent buses

December 28, 2006

It is counter-intuitive for the Maryland Transit Administration to think that global positioning technology (GPS) will truly help its customers ("New MTA feature tells riders how long until the next bus," Dec. 21).

What riders want is this: more buses that run more frequently and run on schedule.

I ride the MTA buses at least four times a week and I don't see how the GPS system will help me.

The bus shelters (the places where the GPS readouts can be read) are few and far between.

The GPS system is a fancy, superfluous addition to the transit system. How will it help the MTA customer who spends 45 minutes waiting in the cold and snow of winter for a bus?

I have always wished I could invite MTA officials to step into the shoes of their customers and actually feel the angry weather of winter or the sultry heat of Baltimore summers.

Give us more buses on all the bus lines, with added frequency and, then, make sure that they arrive on schedule.

Now, that would be real progress.

Leslie Robin Kassal

Towson

GPS won't make buses run on time

As someone who rode the bus for 11 months while the northern portion of the light rail line was closed for double-tracking in 2005, I was surprised to see that the state has invested money for electronic marquees displaying when the next bus is coming ("New MTA feature tells riders how long until the next bus," Dec. 21).

Most of the mornings when I rode the bus, I ended up screaming into my cell phone at a Maryland Transit Administration dispatcher about when the next bus was coming.

My experience (albeit with one line) indicated that the Transit Riders League's study that showed that the buses run off schedule 50 percent of the time seemed to be remarkably generous in favor of the bus schedule.

Now happily reunited with the light rail, I wonder if we will get electronic signage as well calculating the date when we can expect the east-west light rail line to be built.

Paul R. Schlitz Jr.

Baltimore

Insurance decision may be wake-up call

While The Sun's article about Allstate Corp. deciding to stop writing new homeowners policies in coastal areas of Maryland acknowledged that stronger hurricanes are resulting from a warmer Atlantic Ocean, I was disturbed by the suggestion in the article that there is a debate about whether the cause of increased storm activity is global warming or a natural warming cycle ("Insurer to limit policies in state," Dec. 21).

One thing needs to be made clear. No legitimate scientific journal has ever published any article by any scientist disputing the reality of global warming.

That is because there is no debate in the scientific community - only denial in the political community.

Perhaps rising insurance premiums are what it will take to open the eyes of those who are choosing to ignore the problem of global warming.

Stephanie Lurz

Baltimore

Prisons could help supply new troops

Our president would be wise to consider an option that was used during World War II ("Supporters of larger military push incentives, not a draft," Dec. 25).

Our prisons are filled with young men who have made bad choices but are still redeemable.

My suggestion is that we fill the ranks of our depleted military by offering these individuals an opportunity to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan, with the promise that they will receive a full and unconditional pardon for their convictions upon the successful completion of the agreed-upon term of military service.

These prisoners represent a resource that a nation at war should not overlook.

Robert F. Savio

Glen Burnie

Conscript convicts instead of the public

Here we go again with Dan Rodricks and his push to reinstitute the draft ("Nation needs a mandatory program of public service," Dec. 21).

The problem is Mr. Rodricks does not seem to understand why many servicemen who were subjected to the draft during the Vietnam War era are against reviving the draft.

In the first place, the Vietnam-era draft was not universal. Women were excluded from the process, as they still are excluded from Selective Service registration.

Second, draft boards in that era granted way too many deferments and privileges to persons eligible for military service.

If your name was Eisenhower, Clinton or Bush, you could take advantage of your status, connections, or education level to avoid military service or find a safer way to fulfill your military obligation.

I think we should instead open up the opportunity to serve in the military to the ex-convicts for whom Mr. Rodricks previously has advocated - not to mention to the illegal immigrants who are now choking our social service systems.

Let's give them all an opportunity to enjoy the same advantages I had in the 1970s - when I was drafted and had to make a choice about serving.

Dale Glaeser

Ellicott City

Mania over Ravens is going way too far

OK, enough is enough. So the Ravens have made make the playoffs. Does The Sun have to make all the mania over this into front-page news?

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