Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MARC Weekend Trains Work

Weekend MARC service means easier access to Baltimore via transit.
Before last week, I had ridden a MARC train to Baltimore for a few work meetings, weekday trips to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum when they first opened (I was a member), and that was pretty much it. Otherwise, I was visiting on the weekends and had to make the trip by Amtrak, or way more likely, by renting a shared car / getting a ride form someone.

But, late last year the Maryland Transit Administration was finally able to offer weekend service on the commuter train, opening one line for trips on Saturday and Sunday. And it is awesome! On Saturday I was able to take a 10:02 am MARC train from Union Station to Baltimore Penn Station ($7), transfer to Circulator bus (free) to Inner Harbor, have lunch, and walk to a 12:35 pm Orioles game. After the game, I walked to Harbor East for dinner and took the same Circulator to Penn Station for a 6:25 pm train ($7) back to Union Station. My house to Baltimore and back, via transit, for about $15.

There are nine MARC (Maryland Area Regional Commuter) trains from DC to Baltimore on Saturday and six on Sunday. All trains run on the Penn line, which services New Carrollton, BWI Marshall Airport, and other stations on the way to Baltimore Penn Station. [FYI, this train does not stop at Camden.] Here's the full weekend schedule (PDF). MTA recently added more capacity to the weekend trains due to high ridership. They now run four and five car trains, up from three. Hopefully ridership stays high and next budget year they decide to offer more trains, especially on Sunday. Here's to transit!