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Living the Transit Lifestyle

September 24, 2015
Jon Berle Pope John Paul II helped the Maryland Transit Administration set a new ridership record during his historic visit to Baltimore on Sunday, October 8, 1995. More than 35,000 riders, (many of them first-timers) took trips on Metro Subway, Light Rail, MARC Train and Commuter Bus services. Light Rail alone carried 20,000 passengers, breaking the 16,000 one-day, special event ridership record that was set during the 1993 All Star Game. Light Rail lots were packed to capacity and the special train on MARC’s Camden Line sold out all 1,300 seats. In addition, hundreds of citizens purchased... more
September 23, 2015
Guy Henderson This is Try Transit Week, and MTA riders offer plenty of reasons why they’d recommend to their car-bound friends that they try transit too. While convenience and affordability are typically at the top of that list of reasons, there are plenty of other reasons that make sense too. For everyone. Here’s what we learned from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). It’s good for society.  Public transportation use in the United States saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline every year Public transit reduces our nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons... more
September 17, 2015
Jon Berle The routes of the MARC Penn Line have their roots on the same grounds that trains have traveled since the mid-1800s. Passenger service along the MARC Camden route began even earlier, in 1830, when the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) offered service from Mt. Claire Station in Baltimore to Ellicott City. During the mid-1800s, B&O passenger service was extended to Washington, DC and over the current MARC Brunswick Line to Martinsburg, West Virginia. Service on the current MARC Penn Line originated during this same period, operated by Pennsylvania Railroad, and later, Penn... more
September 16, 2015
Guy Henderson MTA’s installation of the 17th electric vehicle (EV) charging station bring to eight the number of Light Rail, Metro Subway and MARC Train stations that allow drivers of electric vehicles to plug in and charge up while they commute. Funded by a $1 million grant from the Maryland Energy Administration, the EV stations draw into focus MTA’s commitment to the environment by combining driving green with the inherently green nature of taking public transit. Electric vehicles have grown way beyond the experimental stage - global annual sales are expected in the hundreds of millions... more
September 11, 2015
Guy Henderson When MARC Train Weekend Service on the Penn Line was introduced in December 2013, many cheered. Week after week, passenger volume grew, and it continues to expand. A year later in December 2014, the MARC Bike Car was launched. The reaction on MTA’s Facebook page set records for comments, likes and shares worldwide. Now with the introduction of a second bike car on Saturday, September 5th, it appears that MTA is on the right track when it comes to helping integrate public transportation with habits that are even more environmentally friendly, like riding a bicycle. During last... more
September 9, 2015
Jon Berle As the Orioles wind down their season and the Ravens inaugurate theirs, it's an excellent time to point out that the Maryland Transit Administration has a long tradition of helping sports fans get to the game on time. The MTA “Stadium Express” was started in fall 1983 to transport baseball fans directly to Memorial Stadium from eight locations around the city, including major downtown hotels and Park and Ride lots. The Stadium Express carried 7,200 passengers for the first game of the series on October 11 that year. John Denver sang the National Anthem for that first game. His... more
August 31, 2015
/*-->*/  Guy Henderson Running a train service can be tough. Just ask Erich Kolig. He’s the Director of MARC Train Service. And of course, he doesn’t do it all on his own. He counts on his seasoned team to keep the trains running on schedule despite some uniquely challenging conditions. MARC doesn’t own any of the tracks on which it runs, for instance. Amtrak owns the Penn Line, mainly to serve its inter-city passengers, and CSX owns the Camden and Brunswick lines, over which thousands of freight cars run regularly. Kolig doesn’t mind that MARC leases the lines and must depend on Amtrak... more
August 26, 2015
Granville T. Woods, inventor of overhead conducting wire technology Jon Berle Light Rail has its roots in Baltimore’s 19th century electrified trolley service, which began on August 16, 1890. The first route ran on North Avenue from Division Street to Tenth Street. The technology that carried power to the trolleys of yesteryear was based on patents by African-American electrician and engineer Granville T. Woods. His 1888 invention for overhead conducting wires is what led to the aerial “catenary” wires MTA uses today.Those of us making our way to the Maryland State Fair over the next... more
August 25, 2015
Sandy ArnetteTo help Baltimore City Public Schools students kick off another school year on the right track, MTA Police joined in the McDonald’s Coldspring Community Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 22, to distribute much-needed back-to-school supplies to over 130 youth. Students received binders, calculators, carrying bags, highlighters, notebooks, pencil cases, pencils and pencil sharpeners. “MTA Police are an integral part of the community and we’re happy to help students prepare for the upcoming school year by donating supplies and transporting our youth to and from school quickly, safely... more
August 20, 2015
Jon BerleAs the automobile solidified its hold on the American imagination in the post-World War II 1940s, even "futurists" found it hard to envision locomotives that didn't look like cars on rails. They did, however, correctly forecast a bulbous aerodynamic front as a design element that continues to this day. Case in point - the MARC 7100 Locomotive below, which MTA donated to the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, shares many of the retro features of both today’s eco-friendly MARC locomotives and the locomotives of the 1940s. MTA used the 7100 and similar locomotives after Maryland’s... more