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BALTIMORE, MD (August 12, 2013) – Governor Martin O’Malley, joined by U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and other state and local officials, today announced the opening of the reconstructed MARC Halethorpe Station. This was a two-year, $32.7 million construction project that supported 425 jobs, and was part of the Administration's $532 million investments in upgrades to the MARC system since 2007. The ribbon-cutting ceremony highlights a continued commitment to creating jobs and investing in MARC Train improvements.
“In Maryland—with our federal, state and local partners—we invest in transit because it creates construction and design jobs for middle class families, and because it eases traffic congestion and helps people get to work and get home faster and more conveniently,” said Governor O’Malley. “Improving our transportation infrastructure also makes Maryland an even more attractive place for companies to invest and create jobs.”
The Halethorpe station is one of the five busiest stops on the Penn Line, used by 1,300 MARC passengers every day. The Halethorpe renovation project significantly improves the speed and ease of using the station for daily MARC passengers and comes as ridership system-wide continues to soar. Average weekday ridership on MARC has increased 24 percent between FY 2007 and FY 2013. In fact, the average daily ridership on MARC reached nearly 39,000 passengers in the month of June – an all-time record.
Improvements at the Halethorpe MARC Station, include :
· Two new 700-foot-long, high-level platforms;
· Pedestrian bridge;
· New elevators;
· ADA-compliant sidewalks / ramps;
· Full platform-length canopies;
· Kiss-and-Ride drop-off location;
· New lighting and public address system;
· Restrooms; and
· Attractive new landscaping and ticket area.
“It is in the national interest to invest in critical transportation infrastructure in Maryland and nationwide. Every person that takes MARC to DC or Baltimore means one less car on I-95 and other busy arteries of the Northeast corridor. Improvements at Halethorpe will take cars off the highway, decrease congestion, improve interstate commerce, and reduce pollution,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee. “Projects like the renovations at Halethorpe would not be possible without federal support and Team Maryland is working to make sure the federal government remains a steady partner, making the needed investments in our state transportation network.”
“A strong, modern transportation and mass transit system is critical to commuters in Baltimore County,” U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski said. “These improvements created more than 400 construction jobs during the renovation. And now they will make sure that the Halethorpe MARC station keeps Marylanders moving and businesses booming, creating the jobs of tomorrow.”
“This is a great day for the thousands of hard-working Marylanders who travel through the Halethorpe MARC station every day,” said U.S. Congressman John Sarbanes. “We’ve taken a huge step forward in giving commuters an efficient and reliable transit system while making progress in decreasing our carbon footprint. I will continue working with Governor O’Malley and my colleagues in the Maryland Congressional delegation to make the critical transportation investments our state needs.”
“For the people who have used this station for years, today is truly a new day,” said Senator Edward J. Kasemeyer. “The days of struggling to get on and off the train are over. We are grateful for Governor O’Malley’s investment in our community and his continued commitment to public transportation.”
“I am pleased that this project is coming to fruition,“ said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Improvement to this MARC Station is long overdue.”
Since 2007, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has invested $532 million in MARC Train improvements. The investments include purchasing new cleaner, greener locomotives and bi-level passenger coaches; upgrading stations throughout the MARC system; and overhauling existing passenger coaches to extend their service life.
In addition to these completed projects, the State also has a number of projects currently underway or just recently completed, including:
· Purchasing 54 bi-level passenger railcars to support the Penn, Camden and Brunswick Lines. Of the 54 new bi-level passenger railcars, 38 of these will replace vehicles scheduled for retirement and 16 will be used to expand the MARC fleet. The first cars are due to arrive late Fall 2013;
· Overhauling 63 bi-level coaches;
· Improving stations: Halethorpe, Edgewood and West Baltimore; and
· Adding system wide: public address, next train arrival monitors and surveillance cameras.
For the latest information on MTA service, passengers are urged to check the MTA website at www.mta.maryland.gov. Customers can call the MTA Transit Information Call Center Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 410-539-5000. TTY 410-539-3497. To sign-up for email about service modifications and delays, go to www.mta.maryland.gov/enotifications. Visit MTA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mtamaryland or Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/mtamaryland for more sources of updated information.
Terry Owens Takirra Winfield
MTA Media Relations Office: 410-974-2316
Office: 410-767-3936 Cell: 443-336-1475