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Don't blame riders for MTA's shortcomings

A recent letter writer in a screed against public transit cajoles transit riders to "take responsibility" and stop whining because transit fares are too low (“Stop whining, transit riders,” Feb. 13). I don't know what form this responsibility takes in his entitled suburban outlook. I know if all of the 40,000 users of the Metro. the 20,000-30,000 light rail riders and many more bus riders than these all "took responsibility" in the usual suburban ethos by driving a car, you would need three more beltways with eight lanes each to accommodate all of the extra induced commuter traffic. One lane of traffic can accommodate 2,000 cars per hour if conditions are ideal while one lane of commuter rail or subway can accommodate 40,000 people an hour.

I'll give the writer an alternate picture of what responsibility looks like. When my father was hospitalized for heart surgery, his nurse reported for duty every morning at 8 a.m. She lived in West Baltimore and the hospital where she worked was in Towson. She had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to make her commute because she was totally reliant on public transit and could not afford a car. She was a hardworking and responsible nurse, and my father made a complete recovery from quadruple bypass surgery. But there is something fundamentally wrong when people doing hard work in responsible positions must rely on public transit that requires a 3-hour commute.

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Paul R. Schlitz Jr., Baltimore

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