By Greg Hinchliffe
On Thursday April 10, 2014, members of Maryland Bicylcle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (MBPAC) had a very productive meeting with Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) personnel regarding carrying full-size (non-folding) bikes on Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC trains. Representing MTA were Erich Kolig, John Hovatter, and Patrick McMahon. Representing MBPAC was Michael Jackson, Greg Hinchliffe, Jim Titus and Carol Silldorff, committee member and Bike Maryland Executive Director. Also in attendance was Champe Burnley of the Virginia Bicycle Federation, who is conducting similar negotiations with Virginia Railway Express commuter rail and Amtrak.
MBPAC passed a resolution asking MARC to consider allowing non–folding bikes on its new weekend service trains, with the idea that the new service would be lightly patronized. MARC was expecting approximately 2000 weekend users; they have had as many as 9000! Nonetheless, the weekend ridership is lower than weekday, making the weekend trains the logical choice to experiment with bike carriage.
MTA has put quite a bit of thought and effort into incorporating space for full bicycles on the MARC. MBPAC members are satisfied that MTA is working on a solution, and hopeful that progress can be reported soon. Additionally, we thank MTA for there interest in partnering with advocates to participate in later stages of this project’s development!
(Photo credit: Bloomburg News)