Some MARC trains barely crack 50% on-time mark
The on-time performance of the MARC Penn and Camden lines reached an abysmal 85 percent in November as three trains barely cracked 50 percent for the month.
Those are not figures calculated to make riders happy.
"We consider 85 percent to be below the threshold of what we consider acceptable, and that's 90 percent on average," said Rafi Guroian, chairman of the MARC Riders Advisory Council.
On the Camden Line, Train 850 (the 5;16 p.m. out of Washington) was at the bottom with 53 percent on-time performance for the month, while only 55 percent of the runs of Trains 846 and 852 (4:13 p.m. and 5:51 p.m. from Washngton) were on time.
No trains on the Penn Line scored in the 50s. But three fell below 70 percent: the 437 (the 4:50 p.m. from Penn Station) at 60 percent, the 530 (4:24 from Washington) at 65 percent and the 435 (3:45 from Penn) at 68 percent.
The lone bright spot was the performance of the Brunswiick Line, where November's 92 percent figure was 10 percentage points above its year-to-date record. Both Penn and Camden scored worse in November than their year-to-date records. Through November, the Penn Line was at 89 percent and Camden at 88 percent.
Getting There is awaiting an explanation of these figures from the MTA, which posts a daily MARC service digest on its web site.
Guroian said the poor performance on the Camden Line could have something to do with track work being performed by CSX, which operates the line. He said he was less sure what was causing the problems on the Penn Line but noted that Amtrak changed its schedule at the beginning of October, while MARC did not.