Take MARC Train for an Affordable, Hassle-Free Ride to the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Additional Rail Cars on MARC Penn Line Weekend Trains Will Connect Transit Riders in Charm City with D.C.’s World-Famous Festival

BALTIMORE, MD (MARCH 24, 2017) – The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is urging Baltimore-area residents planning a visit to the nation’s capital during this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival to avoid the traffic and parking hassles and use MARC Train’s Penn Line.

Tens of thousands are expected to attend one of several events related to the month-long National Cherry Blossom Festival, which officially begins March 25 with a grand opening ceremony and concludes on April 15 following the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival.

“MARC Train is a convenient, cost-effective way to travel to D.C. whether connecting to jobs, retail, healthcare and entertainment, or the annual National Chery Blossom Festival,” said Erich Kolig, MTA’s director of MARC Train and Commuter Bus Services. “An additional benefit of traveling on a weekend is all MARC Penn Line trains have a designated bike-car, providing an added level of convenience and ease of travel for our bike-riding customers.”

To manage this year’s crowd, additional rail cars will be added to MARC’s Penn Line service starting this weekend. All weekend MARC trains will continue to operate with the bike car, which can hold 28 full-sized bicycles and can be accessed on a first-come, first-served basis.

MARC Train’s Penn Line weekend service offers nine round-trips between Baltimore’s Penn Station and Union Station in Washington, D.C., on Saturdays and six round-trips on Sundays for the same $8 one-way fare offered on weekdays – with monthly and 7-day weekly passes honored.

MARC customers are advised to purchase their tickets before boarding to avoid the $5 surcharge for on-train ticket purchases. Also, MTA asks customers to arrive to the station early to purchase tickets and board the train before its scheduled departure.    

The National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the District of Columbia. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan.       

MARC Train operates its weekend service only on the Penn Line, serving Martin State Airport, Baltimore’s Penn Station, West Baltimore, Halethorpe, BWI, Odenton, Bowie, New Carrollton and Washington, D.C.’s Union Station. The complete schedule is available online at https://mta.maryland.gov/marc-train.

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is one of the largest multi-modal transit systems in the United States. MTA operates Local and Commuter buses, Light Rail, Metro Subway, Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service, and a comprehensive Paratransit (Mobility) system. MTA also manages the Taxi Access system, and directs funding and statewide assistance to Locally Operated Transit Systems (LOTS) in each of Maryland’s 23 counties, Annapolis, Baltimore City and Ocean City. MDOT is a customer-driven leader that delivers safe, sustainable, intelligent and exceptional transportation solutions in order to connect our customers to life’s opportunities. MTA’s goal is to provide safe, efficient and reliable transit across Maryland with world-class customer service. 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.

Media Contacts: 
Sandy Arnette                          Paul Shepard
Office: 410-767-8367               Office: 410-767-3935
Cell: 443-835-7984                  Cell: 443-622-4181
sarnette@mta.maryland.gov    pshepard@mta.maryland.gov

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