Baltimore is for white people only? A change in bus lines, meant to exclude blacks?

I often take the number seven bus. I recently overheard some people claiming that it would be eliminated. They went on to say that since more people are moving back to the city, from the mostly white suburbs, that the bus routes are being rerouted to cease providing almost any service to “black neighborhoods”, so that the immigrant yuppies don’t have to see blacks on the bus. Any Baltimoreans have any idea about this rumor.


Yup, the routes are changing.

What is the explanation from the transit folks for all these changes?

If the routes are changing it’s more likely to be a result of less-than-viable patronage rates than anything else.

At some point, a bus line going through the best known black neighbourhood in this city (Little Burgundy) was cancelled, with the result that the metro station in that neighbourhood (Georges-Vanier) is now the only station in the city with no bus service, and is one of the least used stations in the network.

This really hurts a lot of low-income people with reduced mobility who have trouble getting out to shop for food or make doctors’ appointments.

Baltimore has very few white neighborhoods left – mainly just Hampden, Fells Point and Dundalk. From the web page, it doesn’t look like they’re planning to confine bus service to those areas.

You mean white working-class neighborhoods ; still, good point, even if a bit exaggerated – “redlining” in Baltimore would virtually require teleporting. It’s apparently more a case of reconceiving the routes to give primacy to moving people in and out of the places where businesses and industries are.

That’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. As others have pointed out, it would be next to impossible to design a bus route that catered to just the white folks in Baltimore . . . I mean, have those people ever been to Baltimore? Next thing you know, they’ll be jabbering that there’s a plan afoot to deny public transportation to all of the black folks in D.C., too.

Regarding the bus line mentioned in the OP, the very link you provided gives you a reason for the shutdown:

Like I said, it is just a rumor.

That sounds, like a good reason, but in reality, it doesn’t seem to work. I take the bus quite often, and I find that the seven is simply the best, and sometimes the only way of getting to places.

Once again, someone attempts to grab the holy brass ring of victimhood.

What’s your point? You reported a rumor, and I replied by saying that it’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard . . . repeating that it’s a rumor doesn’t change anything.

You can’t say that it “doesn’t seem to work,” because the No. 11 line’s service hasn’t been extended yet.


To ask, the following:

The exact claim was that, plus the claim that the service is duplicated by other bus lines. Not true, as far as I can tell.

P.S. :rolleyes: , victimhood, yes. Very amusing. :rolleyes: However, in case you are wondering, I am doing no such thing, seeing as how I am white. .

P.S.S. Why post this in the pit, rather then polling? Because, it involves racism, and also, I want to give Baltimoreans a chance to see it, since things in the polling threads run too fast, and I am afraid this would have been on the second page before too long.

That (the OP) may be one of the silliest things I’ve ever read.

“Oh! Those nasty black people. Can’t get my lily-white eyes tarnished looking at them! No sir!”


It’s in IMHO.

That is not what I am saying in the least. Instead, I am saying I have a fear of other people saying this. People who change bus routes.

So I did post in the right forum, after all. It just didn’t feel like I did.

OK, so very briefly – (BTW, I’m participating as I was a resident for 14 years and my brother currently is) – to recapitulate:

(a) MTA is realigning its routes, as it seems to me, to focus on getting people to where the jobs/businesses are.

(b) This is likely in an effort to be more economically efficient; as in the case with most public agencies, to many clients it will look like the decisionmaking could just as well have come from sound statistical studies as from a Ouija board.

© This results in the loss or realignment of some routings that provide residential-street neighborhood local service. Thus you lose the #7 local and now have to hoof it several blocks to the metro stop, go to the end of the line, and then transfer to a #11 which, again, in the extended route it now serves commercial rather than residential streets of that neighborhood.

(d) The population that uses the #7, or any of the more seriosuly realigned routes, understandably feels that the working-class-neighborhoods are being slighted and inconvenienced for the sake of faster moving of commuters from the 'burbs.

(e) Most Someone on the #7 makes the leap from the true fact that most working-class-neighborhoods in B-more City are black, to the wild rant that the realignment is specifically as to not inconvenience white suburbanites.

(f) Answer to the question implied in the OP: Scott, if you ride the Mondawmin #7, of course you’ll hear people concluding that it’s a malicious racist decision, rather than just a case of the agency deciding it can’t afford to make basic poor-neighborhood mobility a priority.

I meant the point of your repetition of it being a rumour, not your point with this thread.

Dude, are you even paying attention?

The MTA site says that when the No. 7 line goes away, it will be because of duplicated service (not just bus lines). Part of the duplication will take the form of the No. 11 line, which will be expanded. None of this has happened yet, so for you to say that it doesn’t work is ridiculous. Wait until all of the new lines are in place, then you can criticize them all you want.

What makes you think that Evil One’s comment was directed at you? I thought it was directed at the people who started your rumour.

Well, there probably are people out there who do think that. How else do you explain (voluntarily) segregated communities that are 99% white? Or the fact that some people will go out of their way to patronize stores and restaurants with more of “their kind”? Racism is still alive and well in America.

The OP is off the mark though. For one, a greater percentage of people of color use public transportation compared to whites. Same with working class people. So the bus system would be cutting out a major source of revenue by trying to exclude them. Rich yuppies don’t really ride buses anyway (gotta show off that VW Jetta!), so there isn’t a need to cater to them.

Also, having been through Baltimore, I can safely say that it would be impossible for a bus system to route itself in such a way to avoid all the black and poor neighborhoods. There’s a whole lot of black people in Baltimore.

I’ll just add that I know a lot of people who work for transit systems (mostly in Austin but in other cities too) and those people are unusually dedicated to their jobs. Many of them work for the transit systems (for less money than they would make working for a consultant) because they believe in public transit and that it should be available to all. If a situation as outlined in the OP were to occur, it would have to be a directive from above and I’m pretty sure you’d see a lot of whistle-blowing type articles as well.

I am not a resident of Baltimore. I believe I’ve been there only once, and that was about ten years ago. Nevertheless, I have a computer with internet access so feel sufficiently credentialed to comment on this purported “rumor.”

It is, of course, difficult to prove a rumor like this. The gist of the rumor is that the politicians cut funding to the Baltimore transit system with the express intent of forcing said transit system to route around working-class African-American neighborhoods. What do we know?

Start here with the Transit Riders League of Metropolitan Baltimore, a division of the Citizens Planning and Housing Association. Here is their mission:

Note that, while their webpage makes mention of cutbacks to transit, it does not mention any nefarious plot to use such cutbacks to unfairly impact minorities. Why is that, do you suppose?
[ul]There is no such plot.[/ul]
[ul]There is such a plot, but it’s so well-hidden that no one (outside of the politicians) is aware of it.[/ul]
[ul]There is such a plot, and the Transit Riders League is aware of it, but is waiting to amass sufficient evidence before they file suit against the government to prevent the plot from being implemented.[/ul]
Me, I’d tend toward the first option. If the second option is true, we’ll never know about it. Now, the third option is the most interesting. I don’t think it’s true, because I don’t see why the BTRL would wait to file suit, although legal strategists may disagree.

I think that if there were even a scintilla of evidence indicating a malicious intent to create a disparate impact on minority neighborhoods with the budget cuts, the BTRL would race to the courthouse and with their *Conley v. Gibson* selves convince a judge that something was rotten in Denmark (or Baltimore, as the case may be) and get discovery. Discovery is where the juicy evidence will be found, and don’t think the BTRL don’t know it.

So I think that this purported rumor is likely nothing more than unhappiness with pending budget and line cuts and changes. If there were more to it, a media outlet, a public interest group, or just plain someone would have brought attention to it.

Stupid rumors like this one (and people who pass them on) infuriate me.

There is still quite a bit of real racism in American society. To fabricate it where it does not exist is to dilute the impact of the real thing. When people hear trumped-up claims often enough, they may tend to tune out the subject matter entirely.

The same problem exists in regard to feminists hollering about injustices to women. The more they cry wolf, the less fearsome the actual wolf seems to be.