Monday, February 18, 2008

News briefs!

AMNY's done the math for MTA's rate hike, which takes effect March 2. Fragments of money are leftover on bonus cards, leaving riders feeling anxious for future inconveniences. I feel their pain: one-way fare in Baltimore is $1.60 and an extra dime is the least likely bit of change to find in my pocket.

The Baltimore Sun published a photo from a bus surveillance camera (huzzah! it was working!) from a January incident on the 8. He looks like a kid with that young face and that really bums me out.

Speaking of crime incidents...a woman suspected and charged in various stabbing incidents related to the CTA plead not guilty last week. The woman is being tried on two separate stabbing incidents: stabbing her 10-month-old, and stabbing a woman and three-year-old on the bus.

Also in B-more news, MTA intends to purchase 30 fuel efficient buses. Which is awesome because I'm the LAST PERSON left to go without riding one of the few that are owned by MTA's fleet. This will cost $26 million+ and requires the Dept. of Public Works' OK. Still, I'm going to ignore the bill so I can nod in hasty agreement. Tomorrow I will sigh. 80% of the bill will be paid by federal aid.

AND MTA is implementing new technology on its subway to alert its riders and employees of oncoming trains. Which is nice, since the Metro has always had this. Wow, I'm feeling feisty today. Please stand clear of the platform. Ding. It's blue, just like the lights in the streets you don't want to be in after dark. Zing.

Pop Matters has an interesting article about the evolution and significance of subway graffiti, and the "policing" of the artwork. Buses here get little more than seventh grade sharpie doodles, and I am in no way advocating the destruction of property, but I've always been a little disappointed by Baltimore's offering as an art form. (Especially compared to this mural in Pittsburgh, and the colorful contributions in Detroit; as a side note, I think Dutch does a great job in sharing a variety of murals.) I think my favorite place to find graffiti is on the under the passes of 83 South. The Light Rail passes several stretches of concrete between the North Avenue and MICA/U Balt. stops. For a few days a short, initialed tag was on an exit sign near the Mt. Royal bridge but it was quickly removed. I thought it was daring to climb onto the sign but it didn't take long to remove, so I guess not. (For all purposes the tag was kind of blah.)

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