MTA administrator doesn't deserve credit for snow response

February 25, 2010

MTA chief Ralign Wells should not be applauded for his candor after last week's snow storms ("Snow is no excuse," Feb. 23). An effective administrator would have had a contingency plan in place to meet the challenges of this storm, not let the storm control the system. That Mr. Wells has only been at this position for several months is not an excuse. Such contingency plans should have been "on the shelf" long before his tenure began. Any effective organization would have such plans at the ready, but we're dealing with a state agency, where inertia is the modus operandi.

I ride the Light Rail daily from Lutherville to Lexington Market. Not once during these snow events did I hear the MTA utilize the speaker system installed at these stops to inform passengers of delays and cancellations. The website was useless. Only a single track was plowed along the main route of Howard Street, creating significant bottlenecks and 1.5 hour trips that typically take a half-hour. I could go on, but other disgruntled passengers have well-documented the continuing frustration with this dysfunctional system.

Mr. Wells' "would'a, could'a, should'a" excuses and promises for better service all ring hollow. He had his chance to shine, but he just gave us more of what we didn't need -- another snow job.

J.M. Duerr, Timonium

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