On Tuesday, May 19, County Executive David Craig, along with Mary Chance, Director of the Department of Community Services and others from the Baltimore Metropolitan Council will personally greet early morning commuters, starting at 5:00 am, at the MARC train station in Aberdeen. These are commuters who, day after day, board the MARC train bound for Baltimore, and all stops in between to Washington DC to get to work. Nearly 500 Harford County commuters make this choice everyday.
The Penn line is the most traveled of all three MARC Lines, boasting an average daily ridership of approximately 20,000 commuters (Oct 2007). “Ridership has definitely increased just in the last year as gas prices continue to rise,” says Harry Romano of the MTA. The Penn Line of the MARC Train Service operates primarily between Baltimore’s Penn Station, through BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport Train Station, and Union Station in Washington, DC. Stops include Baltimore City, Odenton, and Bowie State University. In addition, there are four stops north of Penn Station: Martins Airport; Edgewood and Aberdeen located in Harford County; and Perryville in Cecil County.
Early morning commuters will also receive free coffee and donuts courtesy of Dunkin Donuts along with their free goodie bags. During the morning commute time, Dignitaries will be thanking commuters for using mass transit to mitigate traffic congestion, improve air quality, and save money on gas.
The month of May is nationally designated Clean Commute Month because it is the beginning of the ground level ozone season, when we begin hearing about Code Red and Orange Ozone Action Days. On those days, motorists are encouraged not to drive their cars to work because pollution produced by cars causes ground level ozone, or smog.
Smog can cause burning eyes, difficulty breathing or even trigger asthma attacks. Single occupancy vehicles produce 20% of the dangerous ozone-emission pollution in the Baltimore area. Using mass transit such as trains and buses improves the air we breathe by putting one less car on the road.