As an American merchant sailor, I came to Baltimore for a week of training and was very pleased to find the Baltimore public transit system an efficient alternative to renting a car.

The buses and light rail vehicles are clean and the drivers do not tolerate rude behavior. And the all-day pass made worrying about exact change irrelevant.

At several different light rail stops I was the only passenger waiting on the platform. But my feelings of anxiety were quickly fixed as the MTA police came through on their patrols. These officers did not just sit in their cruisers. On three separate occasions they took action to keep things moving.

I want to thank everyone because by not renting a car I saved $200. And by using the MTA system, I was able to select a lower-priced hotel with an additional savings of $60 a day -- not to mention the pride I have in reducing my carbon footprint.

The Baltimore public transit system is an inspirational example of success in our American struggle for efficient, safe and reliable urban transport.

Dan Schweitzer