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MARC Re-evaluating Schedule Changes

Officials are surveying riders on proposed service cuts.

MARC has stepped back from its proposed Jan. 30 implementation date for a new train schedule after riders responded negatively to the idea of cuts in train service on the Brunswick Line.

At a town hall forum in Kensington on Thursday, Maryland Transit Administration Chief of Staff Simon Taylor said MARC has heard from riders over the past month and will go back to the drawing board on a new schedule.

For local riders, the schedule MARC proposed in December would have left 90-mintute service gaps between some trains at Boyds and Dickerson. The proposed changes were met from the transit system’s own Riders’ Advisory Council and the Montgomery County-based advocacy group Action Committee for Transit (ACT).

Taylor said the goal was to improve the timeliness of the Brunswick Line and said cutting stops at smaller stations would help get trains on schedule during peak times.

Brunswick line runs from Martinsburg, W.V.a, to Washington, D.C.  On average, 7,800 people travel the route, with 800 of those riders stopping through Germantown daily, according to figures provided by MARC staff.

The Maryland Transit Authority has been conducting an online survey of MARC riders. Taylor said about 1,000 people have taken the survey so far, the majority of whom were opposed to the changes.

The survey is available on Survey Monkey.

Taylor said there were plans to circulate another draft schedule in April, with public forums to follow, once the survey results were reviewed and MTA officials met with CSX. Kensington Patch reports that a new plan could be implemented in May.

Germantown Patch Editor Tiffany Arnold contributed to this report.

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