The MTA and Underprovision of Services

Wednesday July 15, 2009

•  economics •  public transit • 

As everyone who reads my Twitter knows, I ride the Maryland Transit Administration’s 995 page back and forth from Columbia to DC four days a week.  This morning, the bus left Brokenland Park and Ride at capacity…and four people waiting for the next bus.  This is pretty good since over the past two weeks, we’ve left behind between eight and 21!  And this is a week with many on vacation.  Of course, the MTA does not know this because turnaways are not recorded.

Back in January, the MTA cut service between Howard County and DC and Howard County and Baltimore, despite rising ridership over the past several years.

The sad fact is that many of these people who got out of their cars to enjoy a simpler ride into work are going to get right back in their cars, increasing both pollution and net commute time because MTA fails to provide the service advertised.  Combined with chronic lateness on the return trip, MTA has essentially abandoned their role in Maryland’s smart growth plans.