MARC West Virginia Service Again Threatened

Commuter rail service between Washington and West Virginia is again in jeopardy due to funding cuts.

West Virginia lawmakers failed to appropriate funding for MARC commuter service in the state’s 2021-22 budget.

Senate President Craig Blair reportedly removed the funding due to low ridership.

Blair is said to have cited an anecdote in which he said ridership had increased to 12 passengers from five.

However, ridership numbers show the trains carried 60,000 riders in West Virginia in 2019, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is not the first time that funding issues have threatened to end the service.

In late 2019 the West Virginia legislature approved just $1.1 million of the $3.4 million sought by MARC.

The service continued only because a consortium of local governments and Gov. Jim Justice provided the remainder of the funding.

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