MARTINSBURG, W.VA. - State Sen. John Unger and Senator-elect Herb Snyder on Thursday credited the Berkeley County Commission with spearheading efforts to stave off proposed cuts to the MARC commuter train service.
Though optimistic, Snyder said the tentative deal reached Wednesday by Maryland and West Virginia transportation leaders still must clear the Maryland General Assembly, where lawmakers already are "catching a lot of flack" for billions of dollars in budget cuts.
Unger said the deal involves a commitment by West Virginia to shoulder half of the $1 million in operational costs to preserve the MARC service to West Virginia's three train stations in Harpers Ferry, Duffields and Martinsburg. That cost includes labor costs and track rental fees paid to railroad owner CSX Transportation, Unger said.
Snyder estimated Wednesday night that train commuters from the West Virginia stations would be asked to pay up to $2 more per trip fare. MARC riders at a public hearing in November expressed a willingness to shoulder a fare increase, which Unger said had not happened in five or six years.