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The Baltimore Sun

Charm City Circulator: Dumb, dumb, dumb!

UPDATE: The city's very  smart deputy transportation director, Jamie Kendrick, was reached by cell phone while aboard a Circulator bus. He agreed the misleading information described below is a problem, and said it would be rectified quickly.

Perhaps time will prove me wrong, but the new Charm City Circulator seems like a smart idea on many levels. But two days after its debut, a ride on the newly opened Orange Route uncovered one of the dumbest examples of government misinformation that could be imagined.

At the front of each bus, the city is distributing brochures with the Circulator's routes and operating schedules. The brochures are very complete, including information about all three routes. There's just one small omission: The brochures don't inform riders that two of the routes -- Purple and Green -- aren't operating yet.

The Sun/Jed  Kirschbaum

So let's say you're a visitor from out of town -- or a  local resident who didn't read Tuesday's article in The Sun. You hop on the Orange Route and pick up this map that shows you can connect to a Purple Route bus that will  take you up to Mount Vernon or Penn Station. So you go stand at the corner where the city itself has told you you can catch a connecting bus. And you stand and stand and stand, puzzled at  the bus that never comes.

It appears some city bureaucrat decided it was OK to give riders bad information for several months -- until the Purple and Green routes' spring debut -- just to save on printing costs. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

These buses still bear the name of Mayor Sheila "Cleaner, Greener" Dixon and are a part of her legacy. If she would like to burnish her tarnished image a bit before she leaves office Feb. 4, she should personally stop every Circulator bus and clean out every  handout that could leave a potential Circulator rider stranded on the street.

By the way, when my bus today reached the Inner Harbor stop on Pratt Street, the recorded announcement said it was the transfer point for the Purple Route. Dumber, dumber, dumber!

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