Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC)
The Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) service is a commuter rail system connecting Baltimore, Washington DC, Harford County, Frederick County, West Virginia and many points in between. It is a critical alternative to clogged roadways like I-95, I-270 and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.
Right now, MARC operates three rail lines serving 42 stations. The combined ridership of the lines is currently around 38,000 per day, an all-time high. But many trains are crowded, many parking lots are at or near capacity and the system suffers from insufficient equipment and storage.
The State of Maryland has a plan to expand MARC to serve more than 100,000 riders by 2035. Trains would run more frequently and service would be added to the Pentagon, Crystal City, L’Enfant Plaza and Newark, Delaware. The latter stop would enable MARC to connect to mass transit in Philadelphia. The plan is especially critical for Fort Meade in western Anne Arundel County, which is projected to add more than 22,000 jobs as part of the U.S. military’s expansion there.
Unfortunately, the state has no money to finance this plan. In fact, the state actually cut MARC service in 2008.
As Maryland grows and its population and employment centers become more interconnected, it will desperately need a growing MARC service. Its highway network can scarcely handle more cars and its environment cannot cope with more pollution.
For more about improvements to MARC, visit our coalition partners at the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance.