Take MARC Train Weekend Service on the Penn Line to Washington’s National Cherry Blossom Festival

The Fast, Affordable Alternative to the Hassle and Expense of Traffic and Parking

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) encourages Baltimore-area residents to arrive relaxed and ready for fun at the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which kicks off in Washington this weekend on Sunday, March 25, by using MARC Train weekend service on the Penn Line. Weekend service is available from Martin State Airport, Baltimore Penn Station, West Baltimore, Halethorpe, Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Odenton, Bowie State University, New Carrollton and Washington’s Union Station.

“Taking MARC Train on the weekends to Washington is an easy, affordable and family-oriented way to discover the convenience that our daily commuters enjoy,” said Andrea Farmer, director of MARC Train service. “With Union Station just a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, it’s a welcoming way to arrive in this historic city.”

Since larger-than-normal crowds are expected in Washington and Baltimore due to several events on March 24, supplemental train service has been added (https://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/Penn_Special_March24_schedule.pdf) to the regular MARC Train weekend schedule. The added service includes two extra trainsets from Baltimore’s Penn Station in the morning and two additional trainsets from Washington’s Union Station in the afternoon. MARC customers are advised to arrive at their departure station early and purchase tickets before boarding to avoid the $5 fee for on-train ticket purchases. 

To further allow for additional seating capacity on March 24, MARC bike cars will not be in operation. No bicycles will be permitted this day on board any Penn Line train. However, MARC Trains will operate a bike car equipped to hold 28 full-sized bicycles on regularly scheduled trains every other weekend (https://mta.maryland.gov/sites/default/files/Penn_Weekend_Mar10_Grid.pdf) throughout the Cherry Blossom Festival. Space is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The National Cherry Blossom Festival (https://www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org/)  commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. The world-famous festival annually draws more than one million visitors to the nation’s capital.

MDOT MTA, one of America’s largest multi-modal transit systems, operates local and commuter buses, Light RailLink, Metro SubwayLink, MARC Train service and a comprehensive Mobility paratransit system. MDOT MTA also directs funding and statewide assistance to Locally Operated Transit Systems in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City. To learn more, visit mdot.maryland.gov or mta.maryland.gov, check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/mtamaryland and follow us on Twitter @mtamaryland.