The Maryland Department of Transportation plans to add three new MARC trains between Union Station in Washington and Penn Station in Baltimore to its evening rush hour and late-night schedule.
The new schedule could be implemented as early as February and should alleviate crowding and eventually increase ridership. John D. Porcari, state secretary of transportation, said it also will help ease road congestion predicted in the next decade as thousands of jobs come to the state.
"Currently, our p.m. rush hour trains from Washington to Baltimore are so popular, in one train alone we have over 300 people standing," he said.
There are about 19,000 daily passengers on the 75-mile Penn Line route, with 2,400 boarding at the Odenton station and 1,500 boarding at BWI station. MARC riders who board the train at those stations have complained of overcrowded and late trains.
"It was correctly identified as a regional priority," said Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold.
Any initiative that encourages people to use rail service, be it improved schedules or additional parking, is beneficial, he said.