Let’s Get to Work is a strategy for implementing improvements to MARC commuter rail service that can be achieved within five years.
The Baltimore and DC metro areas have realized significant residential and economic growth over the past several decades. Their proximity to each other and the synergies between growth industry sectors that populate both regions have resulted in their functioning as one mega-region, with residents and workers traveling back and forth for leisure and business often.
MARC is the only existing regional commuter rail operation that serves a significant portion of Central Maryland and connects Baltimore, DC and outlying communities and suburbs. Consequently, it provides the best opportunity to improve the transportation network in the near-term. Currently, MARC service is focused on carrying commuters during the weekday peak morning and afternoon times. It does not serve the new job centers north of Baltimore, the expansion of BWI Airport, transit oriented development projects, nor the changing nature of the workplace that is increasingly no longer 9 – 5, Monday through Friday.
The Transportation Alliance’s MARC initiative will focus on three critical elements of a robust rail service:
1. The need to increase the frequency and efficiency of rail service to provide access to job opportunities and a skilled workforce, from Perryville and Aberdeen north of Baltimore, to Union Station in Washington, D.C. and all points in between.
2. The need to increase passenger rail service to support other economic assets in the Baltimore/Washington region, including healthcare, higher education, transit-oriented development projects and airports, particularly BWI.
3. The need to increase rail service as a catalyst for creating value for private sector investors and developers, public-private partnerships and other financing mechanisms.