Hallandale Beach Blog -A common sense public policy overview offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt., public policy, sports scene and pop culture of the U.S., South Florida and Europe, especially the UK and Sweden. In particular, Broward & Miami-Dade County, and the cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood & Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

When taxpayers turn on Transit agencies with a vengeance... Maryland learns the hard way. Coming attractions for FL?

Since it's not mentioned in the caption,
the Baltimore Sun photo below is of
former Baltimore mayor and governor
William Donald Schaefer and former
governor Robert Ehrlich, the Republican
who lost his re-election bid a few years
ago to Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley.

As Sun readers note below quite
accurately, Ehrlich had nothing to do
with the Maryland Transportation
Authority
's decision to increase fees
for E-Z Pass.

While not completely blameless for
the awful fall in quality of the MTA
in general, where they've cut some
popular longstanding commuter bus
routes into downtown Baltimore from
booming suburbs like Howard County,
where my sister and her family live,
he hasn't been in charge since he
lost his re-election bid in November
of 2006.
http://www.mtamaryland.com/

Buses which were always PACKED
in the morning at the various MTA
Park-and-Ride lots and on their return
trips. So much so, in fact, that they
actually had to build new parking lots
across the highway off Route 32
(Little Pautuxent Parkway)
to handle the large crowds.

They've cut what was working.

http://wapedia.mobi/en/MTA_Maryland_Commuter_Bus

This, despite the fact that MTA
doesn't operate
full-time bus service
between populous Baltimore
and
Columbia, whose population is
about 98,000.
(In 2008, Columbia and county
seat Ellicott City were ranked #8
on Money Magazine's Best Places
to Live.
)

If you're a Maryland taxpayer who uses
public transit and you see that the govt.
decision-making process is so flawed
and upside-down that they actually cut
what is actually succeeding -beyond
anything possible in South Florida
-
what then is the function exactly of the
Transit agency except as a a redoubt
for incompetent govt. employees?

I predict much the same public response
down here when FDOT and their local
Highway compatriots eventually overplay
their hand, as we all know they eventually
will
at some point, just as they launched
their I-95 Express Lanes, using flawed
'communication skills' that got them
so many well-earned brickbats after they
ignored common sense and the particular
geography and driving patterns of this
area.

If you haven't already see it, please see
this absurd Miami Herald article from
Friday that reads more like a press release
than a genuine news article, which I felt
compelled to respond to with a comment.

Report lauds I-95 toll express lanes

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/miami-dade/story/1250690.html


Please be sure to read The Sun reader
comments below as they are more accurate
and savvy than 99% of the newspaper
comments I've read all year anywhere.

-----------
Baltimore Sun
E
-ZPass hits own bottleneck
Extra staff hired to process wave of fee-related cancellation
By Laura Smitherman

September 27, 2009

The Maryland Transportation Authority, inundated with requests from drivers to close E-ZPass accounts, says that the vendor administering the system has beefed up staffing and shortened the time it takes to process refunds.

Account closures totaled 13,820 in July and August - or about eight times the average number of closures for a two-month period - after Maryland's E-ZPass program began charging owners of the electronic toll-collection devices a fee of $1.50 a month. Some motorists have complained that they were charged the fee as they were waiting for their accounts to be closed.

Read the rest of the story at: http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/commuting/bal-md.ezpass27sep27,0,1280014.story

----------------------
Reader comments at:
http://www.baltimoresun.com/features/commuting/bal-md.ezpass27sep27,0,1280014.story

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