Thursday, July 22, 2010

MARC delays minimal despite suicide attempt

The 'police activity' referenced in the below email notice from MARC was in response to an attempted suicide off the top of the Amtrak parking lot and onto the rails. The jumper was talked down with the promise of a smoothie, a MARC official tells me. Despite the incident- and resulting closure of tracks- the system only suffered delays stretching into the 25-minute range.

"BRNSWK: MARC 891 is canceled following a police activity in Washington/Union station. Passengers should transfer to MARC 875. Washington Metro will honor all MARC tickets."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

MARC/Amtrak could learn a thing or two from the Japanese

I was just reading a speech given by the Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. He was talking about the need for the US to invest in high speed rail.

Noting that there are 6 Es of Japanese high speed rail service, "the second E, E for exactness. Average delay time per year is less than one minute."

Average delay per year is less than one minute! Can you imagine?

He then goes on to say that this Amtrak train from New York was recently canceled and jokes that he hopes his friends at Amtrak aren't listening to C-SPAN.

Read the full speech here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

WaPost on Ehrlich courting disgruntled MARC riders

The Washington Post has a good article and video detailing former MD Gov (and current gubernatorial candidate) Robert Ehrlich's efforts to court disgruntled MARC riders following last month's train from hell.

I'd have to dispute one point made by the head of the new group Commuters for Ehrlich, who in the video says that there's no griping forum for MARC passengers. There's a regular, maybe monthly or bimonthly "Meet the MARC Managers" event where riders can approach MTA officials and complain or ask questions. They do a good job of rotating the managers to different stations so all riders get a fair shake.

My question for Ehrlich is whether or not he will pledge to do something politically unpalatable if he's elected governor, that is raise train ticket prices.

MARC Riders Advisory Council chair Rafi Guroian told Stuck on MARC in an interview lats year that more revenue is essential for MARC's growth and improvement.

$175 for a monthly unlimited ticket is quite a bargain; I for one would be willing to pay $25 to get to work and home on time.