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Transit Safety

Information from Mr. Joe Regier, Commons Director

•  Currently10 lines; Population: more graduate than undergrads ( mostly international students)

•  Transit service hasn't been paid enough attention to until recent two years. Many under-going changes on transit services – all aspects. Hopefully take effect in Mid-fall.

•  ( New Project) Data collection before implementing changes on bus routes (possibly new routes), schedules, etc, in three forms:

•  Focus group – a coordinator plus 4 or 5 riders, meet regularly to get feedback (Currently being done)

•  (Mid fall will take effect on all lines, currently only 2 have them) Electronic card-wipe system – ensure UMBC student access only, and to collect data on rider ship (ID, # of passengers) for each line, as the basis of adjusting bus size, schedule and routes

•  Survey – annual/semester-wised

•  New uniform fleets with UMBC logos. The old ones broke down at times.

•  Full-time drivers, well-trained

Voices from the community meeting:

•  Offer more after 5:00 p.m. – should be able to get addressed along with the data collection process.

•  Make stops safer – in a safe area and better lit if off-campus, emergency blue lights close by if on-campus (they will incorporate these considerations in their project, but have to check back) (we need to make sure there are blue lights at each transit stop on campus)

•  Recognize that MTA buses bring in outsiders (UMBC is the last stop of Route 35, and is on Route77, too so many undesirable people are forced off the bus at UMBC ) – changes needed, like making the last stop away from campus. Joe has been working with MTA on this for 2 years, but no effective response.

Additional suggestion from shuttle riders:

•  Special concern to the safety issues in Alan Dr/Meadow Ln. area – transit services should cooperate with OSL to improve the security, by changing/adding routes/stops whenever necessary.

•  Confusion between Transit Info Line (actually has schedule info only, 410-455-3974) and staff line (410-455-2454).

•  Where to direct complaints and suggestions? – should be explicitly displayed on the main page: John Flister ( flister@umbc.edu ) or generally to transit@umbc.edu / 410-455-2454.

UMBC Transit Highlights: For Public Release (5/10/07)

Implemented during the last eighteen month period:

  • A web-based rider survey was implemented at the close of the fall semester '05 to better inform administration of customer satisfaction with Transit and inform Transit of student opinion regarding a fee increase for fleet renewal.
  • All fleet vehicles were reviewed for road worthiness with maintenance repair performed on all vehicles as a baseline safety measure.
  • Based on the student supported fee increase, new and “new-used” buses were purchased:
    • Three newer, yet used, university transit buses were purchased from Georgia
    • Two new Optima buses were put in service for the fall semester.
    • Three new Gillig buses have arrived and will be in service in May.
    • As a result of the new and “new-used” purchases, four buses were retired this spring.
  • Seven employee lines were converted from contingent to permanent status to better support the routes with a consistent driving staff.
  • Uniforms for drivers were implemented as a benefit to drivers and to provide a more professional look for staff.
  • Renovation of the Transit Office (is almost) completed to better meet the needs of administrative staff, drivers, and visitors.
  • Bus service was provided to the Baltimore Colltown Network as a member school, linking the College of Notre Dame in Maryland , Loyola College in Maryland , Johns Hopkins University , Goucher College , Towson University , and the Maryland Institute College of Art.

New Initiatives for FY 07-08:

  • An end of fall semester web-based customer satisfaction survey for rider specific groups and for the general campus population similar to 2004 survey with updates will be undertaken.
  • Driver identity placards will be installed on buses for increased accountability and to better inform riders.
  • Mandatory safety training modules will be implemented for all drivers to inform drivers of responsibilities and safety expectations.
    • More contingent drivers will be hired to support safety meetings and group informational sessions.
  • Hopefully, with a hiring freeze exception, a Director for Transit will be hired to oversee the daily operation.
  • Focus groups by line will be formed, dedicated to discussion of items of concern and review of driver performance, schedule adherence, and customer observations.
  • Renaming of routes to destinations will be implemented (rather than colors) to better inform new riders.*

•  Arbutus/Irvington Line : Services areas along Westland Blvd , Maiden Choice Lane , Frederick Rd, Yale Ave , Beechfield Ave , and Leeds Ave.

•  Arundel/Light Rail Line : Services the mall at Arundel Mills and the Light rail station at Elkridge Landing.

•  BWI/MARC Line : Services MARC/AMTRAK train station in Linthicum

•  Catonsville Line : Services Rolling Rd, Bloomsbury Ave, Frederick Rd, Harlem Lane, Ingleside shopping center, downtown Catonsville, Cedar Run Apts., Ingleside Ave, CCBC, and YMCA.

•  Downtown Line : Intercampus shuttle between UMBC and UMB in downtown Baltimore .

•  Halethorpe/Satellite Line: Services the TRC, East Dr. , Sulphur Spring Rd, Waelchli Ave , Potomac Ave , Halethorpe MARC station, Francis Ave , Selford Rd , Satellite Parking and the Technology Center at South Campus off Rolling Rd.

•  Harbor Line : Services the Baltimore Inner Harbor , the Greyhound Station, and Fells Point.

•  Route 40/Rolling Rd. Line : Services the shopping at Route 40 & Rolling Rd.

  • Digital signage on new buses will be utilized to better inform riders of routes.
    • Older buses will be retro-fitted with LED destination signs.
  • Card swipe technology will be introduced July 1, 2007 on all bus routes to identify qualified riders for security reasons and for data collection of frequency of use by stop.
  • New buses will have video surveillance of the exterior, driver, and interior passenger areas to address liability, performance, and safety concerns.
    • Older buses will likewise be outfitted with video surveillance.
  • Bus locator system will be implemented. Information on bus location will be immediately available to web-enabled riders with dial-in (telephone) bus location information available via the Transit desk attendant.
  • LCD electronic signage at The Commons and Administration Drive bus stops will follow the bus locator implementation. This will visually inform riders at bus stops of the buses' location.
  • New summer schedule to take effect June 1, 2007:
    • Highlights: renaming of routes* (see above for more information)
      • Linking of Black and White lines to form Arbutus/Irvington Line
      • Gold Line to UMB renamed Downtown Line
      • Red Line becomes the Catonsville Line
      • Green Line becomes the Route 40/Rolling Road
      • Express becomes the BWI/MARC
      • Satellite & Blue Line combine to become the Halethorpe/Satellite Line
      • Harbor Line stays the same
      • Arundel Mills becomes Arundel/Light Rail Line
      • Others stay the same
  • Greater opportunities for chartered events with new buses will become available.
  • Bus mechanic position will be implemented to provide on-site maintenance reducing downtime because of routine and emergency servicing.
  • Collaborating with Facilities Maintenance Department on the construction of a bus service bay in support of the bus mechanic's position.

 

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