The Ravens Light Rail Issues

I always take light rail in for the Ravens games because I am cheap and don’t want to pay for parking. Light rail would be nice and convenient if they would fix issues that lead to long waits, crowded trains and irritated people. Here are some ways I think they could fix this.

1. Number of trains – There have been two games this year where the Ravens won big, which means everyone leaves early. In the past, this meant those of us who stayed until the end of the game had no lines for the trains. Unfortunately, this year all of the people who leave early are still there waiting for a train 20-30 minutes later when the game actually ends. Once can only assume that this means they are running fewer trains. I understand that on a typical Sunday, fewer trains makes sense, but not on a game day. If you know the schedule, there should be a way to run trains more frequently on game day. Also, when there is a Sunday night game and service is officially over why not have all of the trains stacked downtown so they can fill up and leave as soon as the game is over? Why have long waits between trains? If it is a money issue, you would think the Ravens make enough money they could chip in to pay for more trains to make the game day experience more pleasurable.

2. Crowd control – This is not an MTA issue. This is a stupid people issue. People get to the platform at the end of the game and stop immediately. There is always room for more people at the end of the platform, but they can’t get there because of all of the people crowded at the very start of the platform. This causes the line to stretch up the ramp unnecessarily and makes loading the train slower. There are plenty of MTA people around. They need to take a more active role in moving people down the platform. Also, once people get on the trains and it is standing room only, people crowd by the doors and won’t move to the middle of the train. This prevents more people from entering the train and causes the lines to remain long. There are plenty of times the trains leave with space for 10-20 more people per car, but they can’t get on because people won’t make the room.\

3. Staff the ticket machines – It was much easier to get tickets and get on a train when you purchased them from a person at the station. The same people who are too stupid to move down the platform are too stupid to buy tickets without help. You can miss several trains waiting in long lines caused by people unable to operate the ticket machines.

4. BWI/Cromwell – I get on the train at North Linthicum and can take either the BWI or the Cromwell trains. There are a large number of people who can’t take the BWI train. Unfortunately, those people are all standing on the platform while those of us who would love to get on the BWI train can’t get to it. I’m sure some BWI trains leave not even close to full because of this. Maybe you can figure out a way to have a BWI only platform area with access from a roped off area?

5. Consistency – At the very least make sure customers know what they are going to get. Yesterday trains were a little closer together(though 20 minutes between trains is still bad) but some days you can stand there for 30 minutes or more waiting for a train. Consistent service, even if not adequate, is better than inadequate, but also inconsistent service.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone with MTA, the Ravens or the city of Baltimore care enough to fix it.

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Observations from Ravens Games

Drinking – I don’t understand the concept of attending a football game just to get drunk. OK, maybe I get it when you are in college, but grown people who pay a lot of money to attend a game, show up drunk and then drink more when they get there? Seems like a waste of money to pay for a game you likely won’t remember. If you want to drink heavily why pay that much money for the opportunity to overpay for beer?

Security – I agree with Ed Norris on two things. One, the enhanced security will not catch someone who really wants to sneak something in and, two, the way to make the game safer is to keep the drunks out. They are the ones causing all of the problems. Also, herding all of the drunks into a long line and a crowd is just asking for trouble. All it takes is one shove to start a riot.

Standing – Just don’t understand the people who won’t stand and cheer and make noise on third down, but will stand up when there is a break in the action.

Asshats – people who make fun of breast cancer awareness month, complain about everything the team does, complain every time Flacco throws the ball, etc. I complain a lot and these people even annoy me.

Pregame – No, I’m not going to stand for a random country song that is not our national anthem.

Mass transit – how can you provide trains to a night game, but then not provide trains home throughout the game for the people who need to leave? How can you be taken seriously as a city if your mass transit ends at 10pm on a Sunday night?

Even with all of the above, I love going to the games. Even with HD, nothing beats being at the stadium on game day.

How Dare You Arrest a Thief!

I am watching the news and once again they were discussing this story http://www.wbaltv.com/news/20124542/detail.html about three kids who were arrested for stealing. The kids were stealing several items from a neighbor’s garage and were handcuffed and taken to juvenile detention when caught. The parents are outraged that their kids were treated this way. I don’t understand this outrage. The kids committed a crime. When you commit a crime, you go to jail. That’s the way life works. It’s better the kids learn this now and maybe get scared away from doing it again rather than getting away with it and deciding to do it again. If these were my kids I would want them to be handcuffed and taken to jail. I want them to see what happens when you break the law. It’s better to try to scare this behavior out of them early rather than wait until later when the crimes have escalated into something more serious. These parents need to wake up and see this was a good thing instead of sending their kids the message that the police are in the wrong here instead of them.