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Maryland to Cut Transit Services

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to cut back commuter bus and MARC train service, the latest example of reductions in our region's transportation network as our economic fortunes decline.

Many of the planned cuts are on the margins of the rail and bus service, but any such reduction is a setback in a region that desperately needs to improve mobility between city and suburbs.

Here's a list of the planned cuts, which would occur on Jan. 12, or sooner if they involve service at holiday times:

Commuter Bus
-- All service from Baltimore to Columbia on the Nos. 310 and 311 lines.
-- All service on the No. 320 Line from Laurel to Baltimore.
-- All service on the No. 412 Line from Bel Air to Baltimore.
-- One round trip from Harford County to Baltimore on the Nos. 410, 411 and 420 lines
-- All service on the No. 913 Line from Waldorf to the Suitland Metro station.
-- All service on the No. 921 Line from Annapolis to New Carrollton Metro station.
-- One round trip on the No. 995 Line from Columbia to Washington and the branch of the line serving Oakland Mills.
-- Saturday service and one weekday mid-morning round trip on the No. 929 Line from Columbia to Washington.

In addition to these service reductions, MTA proposes, effective Veterans Day, to:
-- Eliminate all holiday service (Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day and the day after Thanksgiving).
-- Eliminate all service on the day after Christmas.
-- Operate holiday service rather than full service on Christmas Eve and the day after New Year's Day.

MARC Train
-- The last two evening round trip trains on the Penn Line (Trains 445, 446, 447 and 448).
-- All service on Mondays through Thursdays on Brunswick Line train 871. Friday service to continue.
-- Termination of Brunswick Line train 883 at Brunswick
-- All service on the midday bus shuttle between Odenton and Laurel.
-- Eliminate the MARC Ten-Trip Ticket.

In addition to these service reductions, MTA proposes, effective Veterans Day, to:
-- Eliminate all holiday service on all lines (Columbus Day, Veterans Day and the day after Thanksgiving).
-- Eliminate service on all lines on the day after Christmas.
-- Operate holiday service rather than full service on Christmas Eve and the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.
-- Operate holiday service rather than full service on the day after New Year's Day.

MTA will hold public hearings and take comments by mail or e-mail until Dec. 26.
Here's a link to the list of public hearings. Address mail to:
Glenn Litsinger
MTA Office of Customer Information
6 St. Paul Street
Baltimore MD 21202

E-mail comments about the commuter bus proposals should go to commuterbus@mtamaryland.com with "Hearing Comments" as the subject heading. Comments about the train proposals should go to marc@mtamaryland.com with "Hearing Comments" as the subject heading.

By Robert Thomson  |  October 17, 2008; 8:03 AM ET
Categories:  Transportation Politics  
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Comments

What a joke. Let's spend billions though on the ICC. Oh, I forgot, that's paid for by tolls so its ok.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 8:34 AM | Report abuse

Ever see a politician commit career suicide? Can we say bye-bye to O'Malley? Mass transportation helps with traffic and reduces our impact on the environment. Why cut this?

Mass transportation riders are part of the Democrats base (my self included). However given the choice between O'Malley and a Republican, myself and many others will choose the Republican.

Posted by: Columbia, MD | October 17, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Are the cuts due to overall budget woes, or declining gas tax revenues? What is perverted is that while people are driving less in response to high gas prices we're cutting transit service. Amazing.

Posted by: MBP | October 17, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

But hey, we'll have Lexus lanes on I-95, a shiny new interchange with 695/95, and the ICC.

Good thing they cut the bike trail next to the ICC, saved a little bit of money there.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't even use MTA and this bothers me. Treating the day after Thanksgiving and Christmas as holidays...Wow.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Public Transit is a joke in this area.

This is why I drive, because they keep giving us less and less options. I don't choose to drive because I want to, I choose to, because even though I live near mass transit, it is so unreliable, that I'd be late too often.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 17, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

This is nuts - but mixed nuts.

One of the lines they're proposing to cut is a "gimme" line that goes from a MARC train stop south of Baltimore to the racetrack in Laurel. OK. let the track pick up the tab for their customers.

However, the 921 line from New Carrollton Metro to/from Annapolis is the only public trans access directly to Annapolis from DC.

Its ridership are working folks - nursing aides who live in Annapolis coming to DC GW Hosp., day care staff riding from PG County to work in Annapolis, etc etc - and tourists - whose $$$$ DC relies on certainly, but esp. important for Annapolis.

What's up w. Annapolis Mayor and City Council? Knock, knock - anybody there?

Wow -

Posted by: 921 Line Rider | October 17, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Geez, what's the point of taking comments until Dec. 26 if some of the cuts go into effect in mid-November?

Posted by: Greenbelt Gal | October 17, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

The public hearings are in November. The proposed cuts won't take effect until Jan 2009.

Posted by: K Conaway | October 17, 2008 6:25 PM | Report abuse

In an era of high gas prices and job uncertainty, the Maryland government is basically making a statement that if you want to live in this state, you must own a car. Cutting MARC and bus service may put more money in the coffers short term, but it ultimately raises the cost of living for thousands of people giving them less disposable income creating a smaller tax base.

And while we're at it, the ICC isn't going to cut any traffic if we're cutting transit and putting more cars on the roads.

Posted by: Dave Murphy | October 18, 2008 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for covering this.

This is the third MTA proposal to cut MARC train service in recent years. The first time, there was no coverage in the Post or other DC area media. Few spoke up or testified at the hearings. The second time, in 2006, there was better coverage and the MTA was forced to back down after a large outcry from the public, state and local officials of both political parties.

If the public is vocal again about the folly of these cuts, the MTA will reverse course.

Posted by: Delegate Alfred Carr | October 19, 2008 7:44 AM | Report abuse

U.S. can spend a billion dollars a minute in Iraq (probably instilling bus lines, too) but cuts needed bus/train service here.

this country's retarded sometimes.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Somewhere, Osama Bin Laden keeps laughing, and laughing, and laughing.....

Posted by: Anonymous | October 21, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

K Conaway said:

"The public hearings are in November. The proposed cuts won't take effect until Jan 2009."

I suggest you read the article again. Some of the cuts begin Veterans' Day.

Posted by: cb | October 22, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Dear Dr. Gridlock,
The proposal to eliminate the 10 trip tickets was hidden within the proposed schedule changes. Do you have any background on why the change? Are there available data on the 10-trip ridership? Sometimes the rush hour trains are so crowded that the conductors can't walk through the standing room only crowds to collect tickets! Is this the reason for the decision?
I am one blessed to be able to work from home two days a week. But without a 10-trip ticket, my option is to buy a ticket 3 mornings a week from the conductor when I board the train in Bowie.
Please help!

Posted by: Ten Trip Rider | October 22, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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