From Harford County Government:
Harford County Executive David R. Craig testified before the Maryland Board of Public Works today in Annapolis, seeking support for improved MARC train service for workers commuting to Aberdeen Proving Ground or to other employment centers in the area. The following is County Executive Craig’s testimony:
“I would like to applaud the State of Maryland for taking steps to alter the MARC Penn Line schedule, Train 504 to better reflect commuter needs for Edgewood and Aberdeen stops in Harford County. This schedule modification is a first step in addressing the growing demand and needs for expanded rail service to northeastern Maryland.
“I would like to encourage state transportation officials to continue to look at ways to increase the frequency of MARC service to this underserved area. It is important to note that even with the new schedule modification, a typical reverse commute from Washington or Baltimore for a Defense Department employee provides for a lengthy 14 hour day.
(Referring to attached chart)
“This chart is an example of an ATEC employee who lives in Springfield, VA that will use this new schedule to commute to APG for work. As you can see, from either DC or Baltimore, a typical employee is looking at a very long day.
“While the times are improved, there still remains a need to increase the frequency of service for this reverse commute pattern to be truly successful. I speak to you today as a representative of the nearly 27,000 employees who will work for the Aberdeen Proving Ground community and for the tens of thousands of other working Marylanders who come to work each day at our numerous distribution, manufacturing and service related employment centers.
“Along with expanded service times for MARC, we cannot ignore the critical connection of how a MARC rider connects to his/her job on APG and the surrounding employment centers.
“Currently, there is NO connection from any of the MARC train stops to APG, and only limited service to our other main employment centers. The county has proposed an APG commuter bus route using buses funded by ARRA dollars and have submitted a cost sharing proposal to MTA on how to fill this critical gap in service. It makes no sense to plan commute routes by rail if there is no means to get riders from the train stations to key employment centers. The county has committed its funds to this effort, and we ask that MTA re-evaluate our proposal to provide this critical link for Maryland workers.
“This is all about connecting people with jobs. In specific, the thousands of new jobs resulting from BRAC, as well as the thousands of manufacturing and distribution jobs that exist and are coming to the north east region. We appreciate the efforts to service the MARC train commuter from DC and Baltimore; however we must not forget the other working
families in the region who should be connected to mass transit to get them to their jobs within Harford County. With APG now becoming the third largest employer in the Baltimore region, and a $20 billion dollar economic engine for the state, we need help from the state to connect people with those jobs and opportunities.
“Again, I applaud the state’s first step toward making a sensible mass transit commute possible. However, as I mentioned earlier, there remains a lot of work to be done. I urge the Board of Public Works to support the thousands of working Marylanders who will use this service to connect to their jobs.”