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MTA to Return to Full MARC and Commuter Bus Service in Late Summer

The state’s MARC Rail and Commuter Bus lines will return to full service on August 30, the Maryland Transit Administration announced on Monday.

As COVID restrictions ease and life gets back to normal, officials said the return to pre-pandemic schedules is intended to help people get to work, school, medical appointments and entertainment.

The MTA reduced service last year, in response to significant drops in ridership.

MARC has operated under an “enhanced” “R” schedule since November 2020, while commuter buses has run on an “S” schedule.

The agency announced that Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) has authorized the use of federal funds to partially offset fare hikes that were set to kick in later this month.

Under the 2013 Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act, fares for core service — local bus, light rail and Metro subway — were to increase from $1.90 to $2.00, while MobilityLink single-trip fares were to increase from $2.10 to $2.20, effective on June 27.

The state will use some of the money it has received from the American Relief Plan Act of 2021 to keep fares unchanged.

As a result, core service riders will continue to pay $1.90 and MobilityLink riders will continue to pay $2.10 through June 26, 2022.

One-dollar increases in MARC and commuter bus fares will take effect as scheduled on June 27. Those fares vary based on route.

In a Monday press release, the Maryland Transit Administration used the phrase “legislatively-mandated” five times to describe the fare increases.

During the 2014 campaign, Hogan offered himself as a counterweight to the General Assembly Democrats who approved tax hikes championed by then-Gov. Martin O’Malley to fund improved services.

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MTA to Return to Full MARC and Commuter Bus Service in Late Summer