3-28-12: The Man Who Makes the Wheels Turn

March 28, 2012 at 7:55 am 2 comments

We’re making some forays into video–above is a snippet of Sheilah’s interview with MTA Administrator Ralign Wells.

Just under 360,000 people ride on some part of the MTA every day.  That includes light rail, city buses, subway, the MARC train, and several commuter buses and shuttles. The person who oversees all of those moving parts is  Ralign Wells.  He took on the job of Administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration just over two years ago.  He’s been with the MTA for 20 years–but started originally as a weekend bus operator.

As a reminder, the MTA is a state agency that’s run by the Maryland Department of Transportation. Our region is one of the few

Ralign Wells, MTA Administrator

MTA Head Ralign Wells.

in the country where the state actually provides the role of transit–most other regions have a regional transit agency.

Sheilah talks with Ralign Wells about how the MTA coordinates with transit initiatives taken by local jurisdictions—such as the Baltimore City Circulator–the possibility of a new bus tracker, and how likely it is that fares will go up.

They also discuss a new customer service hotline that will become active this summer–the number is 410-539-5000.

We asked for listener questions for Ralign Wells, and we received a lot of responses.  Thanks!

This question, from Kate Lawless, about why you sometimes see several buses in a row, didn’t make it to air.  Here, in this web extra, you can hear why this happens–it’s known as “bunching”: And–ever wonder where the bus is before it gets to you?

In this second web extra, Ralign Wells talks about a day in the life of the number 3:

We also want to thank MTA Stories, a project of the local eduction non-profit Wide Angle Youth Media, for sharing their stories of transit in Baltimore.  We used some of them in this segment–and you can listen to more on their website.

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