Public Comments

Proposed Service Improvement: 503/E

By March 3, 2015 8 Comments

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  • Brian Kent says:

    How will this affect connecting with the buses at Columbia Mall. As it is the drivers either don’t make it on time or miss it. I live in Laurel and work in Columbia. Where I work is located on Columbia Gateway Drive. I have to be there by 8am on weekdays. Now I take the E bus from Laurel at 6:07. It gets to Columbia Mall usually by 6:58. It barely makes it to the mall at the scheduled time or misses it all together. Is combining another route the answer? If you cut stops like the Broken Land Park and Ride and Humanim it might work. And at 6am in the morning I have no idea why the bus even goes into Humanim. The place doesn’t even open until 8am. Also driving all the way into the North Laurel Community center is a waste of time. There’s a stop right off Whiskey Bottom road that is in front of the North Laurel community center. It’s very dangerous to have a bus go through the parking lot with all the kids running around. It takes your drivers several minutes to get through the stops I’ve mentioned. These few minutes a stop adds up when your pulling into Columbia Mall at 6:59 and your connecting bus is about to leave.

  • rtahoco says:

    Brian: thanks for your questions. You raise many good points that we will try to answer. First, most importantly, this 503 E schedule revision should work well for you. You will take the 5:30 am trip from Laurel and arrive at 6:45 am at the Columbia Mall, giving you the lead time necessary to transfer at 7:00 am. Your current commute experience is a perfect example of why RTA needed to add running time to The 503 E.

    Your description of some of the 503 E stops are all things we initially considered (Broken Land, Humanim, NLCC). The key issue is that (after lengthy internal discussion) we chose not to propose actual reductions (cuts) in service at this time. We realize it is frustrating for a regular rider to sit through diversions that have no riders. Service planners are always challenged by the nature of fixed route service and when a diversion is no longer a positive, but a negative that consumes valuable time. We will continue to review all RTA stop activity for future service proposals. Thanks for your patronage! RTA Planning

  • Diamond says:

    I think the new schedule is a step in the right direction however adding a Sunday service would be really helpful as well. I work in the mall like a lot of other people and having a ride to work on a Sunday would be great. Even if the bus ran only every other hour it still would be extremely helpful. I feel that if the mall is open then bus service should be available especially when other buses are running. Seems like the E is the only bus lacking a Sunday service.

  • I really don’t see a difference in this change to the “E” bus schedule. You are adding 15 minutes to the travel time but are still requiring me, the rider, to have to wait for the next bus out at Laurel Centre, which really doesn’t improve my quality of life. What if the bus is late and I won’t be able to catch the “A” bus or the “G” bus? And I will be about 45 early for the “B” bus or the “Purple” bus. How does that improve my travel time? Either way I look at it, really there is no change, other than you are acknowledging that the “E” route is taking longer than thought. Yet why do we have to wait sometimes 20 minutes when a Driver goes on a break – when they are already running behind schedule and have to wait for shift changes the same way. I wonder if you should have another bus to fill in for a late bus and it leaves on time – if the bus hasn’t got to either the Columbia Mall or Laurel Centre when it should and that way you would only delay – unfortunately the riders on the current late bus and not all riders for the rest of the day or require rider to not get off at stops and make the bus do a bee line to either mall. Which has been asking of me to get off of the bus and saved me no time other bus got at Savage Library at same time other bus came back from Columbia Mall. Maybe you should think of adding a “EXPRESS BUS” that goes from Laurel Centre to Columbia Mall by going thru the route to Rt 216 and getting on I-95 and off at Rt 32 and down Broken Land Parkway and make any stops that are with-in that route. Have this for morning runs and evening runs. What about the extra bus during those hours also – will they still be there? Comment about the NLCC stop, unfortunately some people can’t make that walk always down from Whiskey Bottom to NLCC and sometimes I have walked from NLCC to catch the Purple bus because the “E” bus was running late and I just made the Purple bus on Rt 1. So that stop does help. Granted maybe the number of trips could be cut down but where would the bus turn around at or not come down Whiskey Bottom at all?

  • Richard Adams says:

    I catch the Purple from Laurel to Savage weekdays and the E bus to the Savage library on Thursday and Saturday. I feel for the drivers and try not to vent to them. The Purple seems to have improved, but, once in a while, there are just days the bus does not make it. E , actually, is almost always late. Today, from Laurel Mall, it was half an hour late at noon. Some drivers seem to go at a faster clip than others—INCONSISTENCY is not acceptable when there’s a printed schedule. The schedule on Purple is just unrealistic. I still rely on the buses.

  • Jayda says:

    Once again, tried to take the E to work at the mall and it just doesn’t show up. I often call to ask where or when this bus “might” arrive and always I’m told that there’s no GPS for the E bus and no way of knowing when it will come. That’s not only super inconvenient but also wreck less. When will we start seeing improvements?

  • Rebecca M says:

    Hello yesterday my hubby and I used your buses from bwi to the columbia mall area bc my hubby had business to attend to.Unfortunately on the way back from columbia mall to bwi the bus broke down resulting in my hubby and I sitting in the heat for 45 mins. I’m pregnant and was very uncomfortable, thankfully a van going back to the mall stopped and took us back to the mall where I called family to pick us up. My only issue is on a hot day when a bus breaks down there should have been a bus come asap. ty

  • Ken m says:

    My wife and I take the silver bus from bwi to arundel mills often. It’s very often not on time and it has broke down twice. I doubt anything will be done but I figured I should voice my concern

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