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Weekend MARC? I’d make that trade any time

There was good news and bad news for Maryland transit yesterday.

The bad news was Maryland’s decision to cut bus service on the ICC. The good news was that the Purple Line, Corridor Cities Transitway, and Baltimore Red Line are all advancing, and that MARC’s Penn Line will start running on the weekend.

Overall, that’s a huge net gain for transit in Maryland.

The new BRT and light rail lines are still years away, but weekend MARC service could start as soon as this winter. The MARC news alone is a bigger win for transit than the ICC buses are a loss.

Not that there’s actually any trade here. MARC isn’t expanding service because ICC buses are going away. The two are unrelated. Just that, as a transit user, if I were given the choice between those two things, I’d definitely pick weekend MARC.

And although Maryland is deservedly criticized for the ICC, it’s also worth noting that the ICC is in the past, and the state’s current plans are extremely progressive.

Most of the new state’s new transportation money is going to transit instead of roads, and most of the road projects are relatively reasonable. There are plenty of proposed interchange improvements and widenings, but there’s no sprawl-inducing, traffic-generating outer beltway.

May 17th, 2013 | Permalink | {num}Comments
Tags: BRT, bus, commuterrail, lightrail, roads/cars, transportation

  • BurgerCommenter

    MARC trains running to/from BWI on the weekends is huge news!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cavan-Wilk/7411320 Cavan Wilk

    Elections have consequences. One consequence if Ehlich’s 2002 election was the ICC. Some effects of electing O’Malley in 2006 and 2010 are the Purple Line and MARC service. I can’t wait to go to Baltimore without worrying about parking!

    • Richard

      You dont need to worry about parking in Baltimore anyway. The city has plenty of free parking typically 2 blocks away from anywhere. nnnI am going to relish not having to drive though, love the MARC.

    • James

      It’s 2013 and we still don’t have a shovel in the ground on the Purple Line despite O’Malley talking about it for 7+ years. His excuse? Funding. But we have had slots, casino gambling, increases to the sales, income and gas taxes, fee hikes, and still we’re in the planning phase. That is an electoral consequence–politicians overpromising and underdelivering. Meanwhile Virginia has nearly completed the Silver Line!

      • Ferryman

        James, your facts are confused: the Silver Line was NOT financed by the Commonwealth nor by METRO but by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). MWAA is being criticized in its construction costs of the Silver Line: allegations of cost overruns, increased tolls on the Dulles Toll Road, and questionable expense reports of its executives.

  • mrz80

    The only real criticism of the ICC is that it should have been built forty years ago, when land prices were much lower and development was mostly a gleam in some cow farmer’s unborn son’s eye. Well, that and the whole toll thing. Given the road’s location and interchanges, one would think that it could alleviate a good deal of the crowding on Randolph and Rt 28/Bel Pre/Bonifant/Whatever they call the various pieces nowadays. But hanging a toll on it over and above the already rapacious tax structure in the area, and you’ve got yourselves a big pretty non-starter. Yet Another Reason to be glad I don’t live up there any more. :)



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