BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Furious and frustrated residents came together to voice their anger over the city’s newly overhauled bus routes. Many say the changes have led to longer waits and unsafe stops.
George Solis attended a town hall on Monday night where many demanded the city go back to the old bus routes
Many people were fuming over the BaltimoreLink bus system that was just introduced last week. While many tell WJZ the previous system wasn’t perfect, they claim this was a textbook example of ‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.’
“It’s all wrong! Ya’ll need to go back to the way it was!” says one man at the town hall.
Fired up Baltimore City riders were less than pleased with the city’s recent overhaul of bus routes.
BaltimoreLink launched last week after more than a year of planning by the Maryland Transit Administration.
The $135 million dollar makeover meant to cut travel time, increase service to popular routes, and the make bus system generally more reliable.
For many, the reality has become the exact opposite. Angry residents expressed their frustration at a town hall hosted by the city’s transit workers union.
“People used to have to take one bus to go to work, now they gotta catch two and three buses to go to the same location,” says one woman.
Another woman suggested giving the change a chance, but was quickly drowned out by the opposition.
Many outraged riders demanded the city go back to the old routes. Now MTA officials say they’re are no immediate plans to do that, and many now calling on the governor to step in, including Transit Union President David McClure.
“With all due respect, you get chauffeured around these people are dependent on this type of service so what are we going to do? What are we going to do put it back the way it was,” says McClure.
Earlier this month, the governor called the bus route changes transformative.
“They’ll be able to travel conveniently, efficiently, and affordably from where they live to where they work,” says Governor Hogan.
One cancer survivor says she wants the governor to know her new route no longer makes her feel safe.
“Out of all the people, you should have rose out of your bed with compassion, not upsetting people.”
MTA officials say they’re doing everything they can to make the transition smooth.
“I think we’re at a point where we can make adjustments some real adjustments to meet the demand that is out there, but for now the BaltimoreLink system is here and we want to work with our riders to make this the best system possible.”
MTA Official say they are welcoming feedback and are already working on implementing some of those changes to the routes to make the process easier for riders.
MTA officials are counting on riders to do a little research as they learn the new system. MTA has also had workers helping guide riders get to their correct buses.
Union officials say they have extended an invite to the governor to attend any future town hall that may be happening in the future.