The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has added service between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore in an effort to handle increased ridership demand in the area as well as expand cooperative efforts between the University of Maryland campuses in Baltimore and College Park.
University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) President Jay A. Perman, MD, and UM Ventures Director James L. Hughes, MBA, greeted other Maryland leaders in higher education, transportation, and state government Monday as they arrived at Camden Station at the conclusion of the inaugural run.
Additional service will be especially helpful, Perman said, in supporting University of Maryland: MPowering the State, the education and research collaboration linking UMB to the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP). Easing travel between both campuses brings a significant boost to the strategic partnership that, at just three years old, already involves 300 faculty and research collaborators and students.
“What’s exciting to me is that with efforts like these, it’s clear that MPowering the State is about more than UMB and College Park,” Perman said. “It’s about all of us joining together to move Maryland forward, to give students the very best education possible, without being constrained by where that education happens; to take our place on the frontiers of research that will change the way we live; and to harness the state’s amazing intellectual assets — in academia and industry — and build an economy powered by innovation.”
Perman also recognized Hughes, telling reporters attending the event that, as UM Ventures director, Hughes runs the arm of the MPower partnership that builds relationships with industry and works with faculty inventing incredible technologies and therapies. “This expanded MARC train service makes their work easier, it makes them more productive … and that benefits all of Maryland — all of us,” Perman added.
MPowering the State seed grants have launched dozens of joint research collaborations in public health, informatics and bioimaging, regulatory science, technology development, and more. Joint proposals have earned more than $80 million in grants and the expansion of the UM Ventures technology transfer initiative has produced more than 100 new technologies and therapies that have been licensed to private industry.
Educational opportunities for students are also rapidly expanding under the alliance. Last year 60 College Park bioengineering undergrads completed their capstone projects in Baltimore, working with medical faculty to solve real and urgent problems facing physicians.
MTA Administrator Robert L. Smith, who joined UMCP Vice President Carlo Colella, College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows, Maryland State Senator James Rosapepe, and College Park City/University Partnership Executive Director Eric Olson on the inaugural trip from College Park, said, “We are pleased to bring this new service to our Camden Line MARC train customers. Our riders have long requested additional service to move people along this heavily traveled area. And the fact that it will help our flagship institution of higher learning, the University of Maryland, achieve greater collaborative heights is a key factor in providing this new service.”
The additional Camden Line MARC Train service launched March 9 consists of:
- An additional morning eastbound train, which will depart Washington Union Station at 7:40 a.m. and College Park at 7:50 a.m.
- An earlier afternoon eastbound train, which will depart Washington Union Station at 3:30 p.m. and will operate between Washington, D.C., and Dorsey Station.
- An additional evening westbound train, which will depart Dorsey Station at 4:45 p.m.
- The 5:53 p.m. departure from Union Station will add a stop at College Park at 6:04 p.m. This closes what is currently a 90-minute gap in service to College Park.
The additional morning eastbound train coming through College Park arrives at a convenient time for UMCP students and faculty commuters who have or teach classes at UMB. Additionally, UMB morning commuters going the other way from Baltimore will now have an additional and conveniently timed College Park evening departure option.
“Among other things, this new MARC Camden Line service is another step in making the University District Vision 2020 a reality,” said Rosapepe, chair of the College Park City/University Partnership, the local development corporation.
The vision, adopted in 2011 aims to make the city a top 20 college town by 2020 through public education, transportation, public safety, redevelopment, and sustainability initiatives.
For the latest information on MTA service, passengers are urged to check the MTA website at www.mta.maryland.gov. Visit MTA’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mtamaryland or Twitter feed at http://twitter.com/mtamaryland for more sources of updated information.