CHARLESTON, WV – Gov. Jim Justice announced today that, working alongside the West Virginia Legislature, the West Virginia State Auditor’s Office, and several local governments, the State of West Virginia has reached an agreement with the State of Maryland to continue Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) Train service to the Eastern Panhandle.
Today, a press conference to make the announcement was held at the Martinsburg Railway Station – the western-most terminal of the MARC Train system – with Gov. Justice's Chief of Staff, Mike Hall, joining other state and local government leaders who assisted the Governor in finding the $3.4 million requested by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to continue service in West Virginia for the next year.
Those contributing included municipal leaders from the Eastern Panhandle communities of Shepherdstown, Ranson, Charles Town, Harpers Ferry, Bolivar, and Martinsburg, along with leaders with the Jefferson County Commission and the Berkeley County Council.
“I am grateful beyond belief to all who had a hand in pooling together the funding that we needed to keep this vital connection between our state and Washington D.C. alive,” Gov. Justice said. “Hundreds of West Virginians and several businesses use this important service every day and I’m fully committed to keeping it running in our state for many years to come.”
Gov. Justice and West Virginia leaders are in ongoing contract negotiations with the MTA to reach a multi-year agreement.
“My administration is committed to finding a permanent funding solution,” Gov. Justice said. “We realize that our Eastern Panhandle is an economic driver in our state and the MARC Train is a big part of that.”
The Governor has also directed Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby to research and pursue increasing tourism-related MARC Train ridership in West Virginia.