HARPERS FERRY – Commuters and other Panhandle residents are being asked to share their train of thought on MARC schedule changes that would limit service at three
West Virginia stops.
The most-discussed schedule alteration would eliminate the last weekday train that now stops in Harpers Ferry and Duffields before arriving at Caperton Station in Martinsburg at 9:14 p.m.
“If you’re someone who ever has to work late, then this change will limit your options,” said Kelly Dreyer Riner, a management analyst who lives near Halltown and has taken the train for more than eight years.
Many commuters from the Eastern Panhandle are weighing the idea of bypassing the MARC stops in West Virginia and instead taking the train from the station in Brunswick, Md.
If the late train to West Virginia is cut, Brunswick would become the Maryland Regional Commuter system’s last westbound stop each weekday evening.
“It seems as if the changes are making it less attractive to ride the train, and that’s a step in the wrong direction,” said Chip Asbury.
The monthly cost of a ticket from Martinsburg to D.C. is $330, Asbury said.
Already, many in the area drive to Brunswick to avoid an $80 monthly surcharge for passengers in West Virginia that MARC instituted last year, notes Chip Gallo, a Harpers Ferry MARC commuter.
In recent days, some riders have been handing out protest leaflets on the train with contact information for MARC management, Gallo said.