Volume 16, Issue 39 - September 25 - October 1, 2008

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Getting Around
Stories on the Move

Annapolis by Bus … Variably

by Erica Stratton

Bruce Chambers rides the Brown B line around twice a week because it only costs a dollar. He says he likes to ride the bus and has “never had any problems.”

Is the bus air-conditioned?


Bruce Chambers waits for the Brown B bus in Annapolis.

Do the buses run on time?


Standard equipment in each bus shelter is a clock graphic indicating at what time the bus arrives each hour. However, in some bus stops this sign has been ripped off. At others, the promised time is inaccurate.

This reporter, who rode the Brown B line to and from the Bay Weekly office this summer, kept a reliability journal.

The Brown B is supposed to arrive every half-hour on the hour outside Bay Weekly’s office; many times it comes much later. Over two weeks, the bus arrived at 40 minutes past the hour, 45 minutes past, 50 minutes past and 57 minutes past, three minutes short of the next predicted arrival time. It never arrived on the half hour.

The phone number displayed at each bus shelter promises to put inquiring riders in touch with the Maryland Department of Transportation. But a pre-recorded voice told me the offices closed at 5pm (thus making it difficult to report a problem) — though the buses run until 10pm. When reached, operators seemed as confused as I was, for they, too, were unable to explain if the bus times displayed were incorrect or if the bus simply wasn’t running on time.

If you, like Bruce Chambers and me, ride the Brown Line, arrive a half-hour early to compensate for variation in arrival times. With luck, you may catch the late arrival of a bus prior to yours.

See last weeks: Getting Around Stories on the Move by Foot

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