A new study shows ridership on MARC trains saves the equivalent of fuel for 12,000 cars yearly.
By Matt Bush
An environmental group in Maryland says ridership on MARC commuter trains is making a dent in global warming pollution. More than 8.1 million trips were taken on MARC trains last year. Tommy Landers of Environment Maryland says that's not just a drop in the bucket.
"Every year MARC saves area travelers about 7 million gallons of oil. That's the same amount of oil used by 12,000 cars a year. And every year MARC prevents 51,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions," says Landers.
Environment Maryland predicts in the year 2035, daily trips on MARC will number 100,000. Currently, the number is around 35,000. Expanding MARC will be critical to reaching that number. Congresswoman Donna Edwards says while federal money going to rail systems has been increasing, it's still not enough.
"Our region at various times has been cited at times unfortunately for bad air quality and bad water quality. And so much of that is about the cars and vehicles that are placed on our roadways," says Edwards.
Edwards says another factor crucial to reaching the 100,000 daily trip number is better public education campaigns showing the financial benefits of riding MARC.