Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another MARC service expansion follow up: re-instituting later service between Baltimore and Washington

MARC TrainFlickr photo by AgeOwns.com.

The article in today's Post reiterates the BBJ article that I linked to in yesterday's blog entry about adding bike accommodating railcars to MARC weekend service and Amtrak service between DC and Pittsburgh, but it reminds me of something else.

First, I've suggested for many years, building on work by Dan Malouff of BeyondDC, that Maryland and Virginia should merge their passenger rail systems.  It's discussed in this blog entry, "Regional transportation planning and fixed rail transit service."

Second, and deserving of an entry separate from the discussion on bike accommodation, MARC should bring back later train service between Washington and Baltimore.

Before the 2008 economic downturn, the last train from Baltimore to Washington left either after 10pm or after 11pm (I think 11pm) and the last train from Washington to Baltimore left after 11pm.  Now the last train from Baltimore leaves at 9:15pm and the last train from DC leaves at 10:30pm.

MARC station in Perryville MDRight: Flickr image by Mark Vogel.

They cancelled the later trains as an economic move.  While I pestered them to offer trip privileges on Amtrak trains so that MARC riders would have lower cost fare options than straight up Amtrak fares, they said it cost too much.

This dissed me when I worked in Baltimore County and had late public meetings, because the last MARC train to DC from Baltimore leaves at 9:15 pm, and most public meetings I had lasted til at least 9ish, and unless I could cajole someone to drive me to Penn Station (rather than ride my bike), there was no way I could take that train.

With the new monetary sources, MARC should re-institute later train service between Baltimore and Washington as well.

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