Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wait....we're rewarding students for what?

You've got to hand it to the Maryland Transit Administration. Sure, they can't actually provide safe reliable mass transportation, but they are trying to corner the market on stupid, half-cocked ideas:

Maryland Transit Administration officials are offering discount cards for area businesses to students who pledge good behavior on city buses, an incentive that transit administrators hope will help curb disrespectful and violent behavior.

The discount card will offer 10 percent to 20 percent off purchases at 12 city establishments, including Dunkin' Donuts, Cold Stone Creamery, Shoe City, Downtown Locker Room and other places.
That's right, the MTA is going to offer discounts to teenagers to not break the law.
"The pledge is no magic panacea for things going on in the community," Greene said. "It's symbolic in its nature. It's not there to be a law enforcement measure or to do anything but take a step to reward good behavior."
No, it's really a symbolic gesture to show once and for all that MTA leadership has completely lost their minds. Instead of taking proactive steps to make public transportation safer, they are going to instead try hair-brained schemes to bribe young riders to not act like thugs.

We have reached a sad point in civilization when we governmental agencies feel it necessary to reward people to ensure they don't act in an antisocial or criminal manner. But it's also sad that Governor O'Malley refuses to clean house at the MTA, and that he refuses to put an adult in charge to fix the sheer mess that mass transit has become in our state...



Daniel said...


I suppose MTA actually stands for Means To Appease.

What a group of idiots.

bruce.godfrey said...

With you completely on this, Brian. It's breathtaking in its awfulness, for so many reasons.

While there's nothing wrong with a business offering a discount on its own volition and certainly nothing wrong with conditioning that offer on a record of good behavior, the State should have nothing to do with collecting a bribe to students in exchange for not wrecking the MTA's equipment, fixtures, rolling stock or passengers.

As a liberal advocate of public transit, I oppose this on liberal policy grounds. Public transport exists to serve the public at large; its use is patriotic. If the government cannot run its systems effectively without having to pay bribes to would-be thugs not to wreck the system, that's damaging to the public policy of the state.

DC's system is no panacea but more and more everyday, I am glad I no longer live in Maryland and instead live in a jurisdiction with more sensible government: Washington, DC. Yeah, I said it. My income taxes may actually be slightly lower here than in Maryland; the 6% bracket goes from 10K - 40K here while the 7.95 bracket starts a whole lot earlier for MoCo residents with the local add-on. The first dollar in DC is taxed at 4%; in MoCo it's 4.2%. Property taxes are generally lower here as are sales taxes for everything except meals out. Now I did not move down here for the taxes, make no mistake, but I love Adrian Fenty and so does every ward in this city.

Socratease said...

Bread and circuses. Throwing loaves to the mob so the Roman government could hang on to power a couple more years. But nobody studies western history anymore, so why shouldn't we expect them to repeat the same mistakes?

eeyore said...

"Nice bus ya got here. It would be a shame if something were to happen to it. I could help you with that, but it might have to cost me less to ride..."