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Posted at 7:22 PM ET, 10/21/2010

MARC madness

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Caroline Courbois
Mitchellville

Regarding the Oct. 16 Metro article “MARC riders say problems stretch beyond 1 bad day”:

I’m glad to see someone is finally getting interested in the MARC train service. I rode the Penn Line (Seabrook-Union Station) daily for many years, and I occasionally ride it now. For decades, I complained to MARC executives, conductors and John Porcari, then Maryland’s transportation secretary, that the system was a disgrace. The problems included:

· Trains that are late or never arrive. I was told that Amtrak and CSX controlled the flow of trains. I told MARC several times that it was a waste of time for it to print schedules. Why not just have passengers stand around and wait for the next train? No schedule necessary.

· Filthy trains. I was told, “Sorry, we don’t have a place at night that is safe to clean them.”

· Lack of information from conductors. When riding the Penn Line in the afternoon, I always have to ask the conductor before boarding which car I need to be in to exit at Seabrook — it’s either the first three cars or the last three cars. Many of us have nearly been captive on the train because we could not make our way to the exit door in time. This information should be given to passengers upon boarding or the exits should always be in the same cars.

I suggest those in charge go to Germany or Switzerland to see how trains can be clean and run on time. I feel fortunate that I don’t have to depend on MARC trains anymore.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | October 21, 2010; 7:22 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic, Maryland, transportation  
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