I’ve always thought that Baltimore was the perfect distance from DC — close enough that I can just hop on the train to check out an exciting exhibit in the nation’s capital, but far enough away that I don’t run into politicians (or, worse, wannabe politicians) at the bar. The one fly in the ointment has been the lack of weekend MARC trains, which force weekend visitors between the cities to either drive (time-consuming and annoying) or take the Amtrak (more than twice as expensive). But not for long!
As Baltimore Business Journal reports, part of Governor Martin O’Malley’s $4.4 billion transportation plan will go to expanding MARC coverage — which will include adding weekend trains. The transportation plan (which also includes “final designs” for the long-awaited Red Line) will be paid for in part by a 4-cent gasoline tax hike, which takes effect July 1.
As of yet, there’s no firm start-date for MARC’s weekend service; the smart money is on sometime in 2014. Until then, I’ll just have to honk my way through beltway traffic, begrudgingly pony up for Amtrak tickets — or spend my weekends here in lovely Baltimore.