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Commissioners in Jefferson Co. hear MARC complaint

August 30, 2004|by DAVE McMILLION

charlestown@herald-mail.com

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A local commuter has complained to Jefferson County officials about the MARC train service and has proposed that the county look into a different form of transportation for commuters to nearby cities.

One round trip from Harpers Ferry, W.Va., to Washington, D.C. earlier this month took seven and a half hours because of signal problems on the MARC line, Jefferson County commuter Judy Lowe said in a letter to Jefferson County Commissioner Rusty Morgan.

Explaining that the trip from Harpers Ferry to Washington took three hours, Lowe asked Morgan how people would feel if a highway beltway were closed for three hours, if a taxi ride took three hours or if a plane trip was delayed for three hours.

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Lowe suggested that the commissioners look into the possibility of setting up a bus service to take commuters to metropolitan areas.

Lowe mentioned the possibility of finding a grant to pay for the service.

At the county commission meeting last Thursday, Commissioner James G. Knode suggested that Morgan contact the West Virginia State Rail Authority to determine if officials with that agency might be able to provide some input on Lowe's idea.

The Rail Authority oversees parking lots and platforms at the West Virginia train stops.

Lowe is not the first area resident to raise concerns to the County Commission about MARC service.

Earlier this year, a Jefferson County resident told the commissioners that MARC riders faced a six-hour delay after a combination of high winds and a possible tornado resulted in the MARC line being closed near Boyds, Md.

County resident Tom Trumble, whose wife was on the train, told the commissioners the incident shows that MARC can no longer guarantee same-day service between Jefferson County and Washington, D.C., and someone needs to find out why, he said.

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