MTA says new MARC schedule going well so far
The Maryland Transit Administration says operations on the MARC Penn Line have gone well despite some "growing pains" since the commuter rail line made extensive changes to its schedule March 14.
The MTA said commuters are taking some time in adjusting to the changes, which have added two trains each during the morning an evening rush hours.
The MTA's records paint a more mixed picture, however, showing that MARC has had a mix of very good days and awful days since the change was made.
In a statement posted on its web site, the MTA said some its trains may appear to be "standing room only" in some cars despite the availability of seats in other cars. The agency said that after receiving complaints about its 4:20 p.m. train leaving Union Station, it found 39 riders standing in three cars but 55 seats available in another two cars.
The MTA said the most crowded train is No. 517, the 6:30 a.m. departure from Perryville, which reaches Penn Station at 7:15 a.m. The MTA urged riders to consider taking Train 415, which leaves Penn Station 10 minutes earlier.
MARC urged riders to keep in mind its new trains, including the 5 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. departures from Penn Station and the 4:10 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. trains from Washington's Union Station.
The MTA said it unable to honor passengers' requests for more cars on some Penn Line trains because it has neither the available cars nor the necessary storage space at Union Station. The agency said the schedule change has already permitted it to add 1,000 seats during rush hours.
The agency's online records of its on-time performance show a mixed performance on the Penn Line since the schedule changed a week ago Monday. Three days have been stellar -- wit 93-95 percent of the trains on time. Three others, including yesterday, have brought sub-par performances of from 77 percent to 80 percent.