Friday, November 18, 2011


I'm certainly glad I don't have to deal with the Howard Transit Purple Line every day. It's frustrating enough once a month. It makes Connect-a-Ride look professional.

Back in the summer, when I was working for three weeks in the other office, I took the Purple Bus to the Savage MARC station every day, to and from. And more than half of those days the bus simply skipped that stop in the afternoon, southbound. I'd call, they'd say they weren't supposed to go there in the afternoons, I'd say they were .. and then call a cab. $7 extra bucks. (And by the way, I wasn't the only person left standing and swearing, either.)

I'd call the Central Maryland Regional Transit office and complain. They'd swear they were talking to the drivers. Once they sent a guy in a van to take me home. Finally we got the problem sorted: There are two MARC stations on the Purple line's route, Dorsey Road and Savage. And indeed, Dorsey Road is only serviced in the mornings.

So that finally got sorted and the bus made the afternoon stops.

But. Chronic lateness remains a problem. I had to take it twice two weeks ago, and once it was too late for the connection to the J - Purple is supposed to be at the Mall at 5:55, J leaves at 6.

But tonight absolutely took the cake. It's supposed to be at Savage at 5:32. Shows up at 5:44. First thing he says is I can't use the CAR farecard, which I've been doing since July, but fine. I paid cash and will go online and order some HT ones just for these occasions. Then he heads north.


In other words, he's NOT the southbound bus 12 minutes late, he's the northbound bus that should have been there at 5:18. Almost half an hour late. And who the hell knows where the southbound bus is...

Well, I have no intention of getting off at the next stop, which is on Guilford Road the other side of the Patuxent Parkway, and walking back down Dorsey Run Road in the dark and freezing cold. So I ride him all the way to Elkridge and back, and of course he's too late to connect with the 7:00 J, though only by 15 minutes, he did make up time. So I still had to get a cab.

In comparison, the Metro Bus is flawless.



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