Harborplace shooting shows need to charge for Charm City Circulator

I enjoy public transportation in most cities.

When going on the road to see the Orioles, taking the bus or train and riding to the games on Chicago's Red Line to Wrigley Field or the "T" in Boston to Fenway Park is a highlight of the trip.

But in Baltimore, the Charm City Circulator is a good idea that has gone bad. "Free ride" in Baltimore means something different than in Seattle, Miami Beach and other cities that have downtown "shopping shuttles."

Last Saturday's "escape" from the Harborplace shooting on the Charm City Circulator was the last straw for me.

I rode the circulator a lot. But it has become a haven for the numerous "characters" that wander the downtown streets. The ability to hop on and off while paying no fare is what makes the light rail an unpleasant experience. At least on the light rail, occasionally, there is a fare check by an inspector. The circulator has no such safeguard.

The Charm City Circulator needs a fare system, maybe a $2-$5 day pass or $1 a ride, something besides free.

An all day pass for tourists or shoppers could offer discounts to the museums, restaurants, etc. It would promote tourism and downtown shopping as intended, not provide an escape route for criminals.

A. Gross, Baltimore

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