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.