Train ridership in Maryland has been increasing by leaps and bounds over the measurable past. First, let’s recap ridership patterns on the state’s regional rail system, MARC, which we last looked at as part of the post on Washington, D.C.
As this chart shows, MARC’s average monthly ridership has nearly doubled from September 1994 to December 2014. It is up 94% over that time frame.
There are 39 train stations in the state, and most of those are served by MARC’s three-line system. Six of the stations are also served by Amtrak. Four of those are on Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, with Northeast Regional trains and seven long-distance routes: Aberdeen, Baltimore, BWI Airport and New Carrollton. There are also two stations that have trains on the Capitol Limited, with daily service between Washington and Chicago: Cumberland and Rockville. As the following graph shows, Amtrak ridership to and from these stations has grown 17% from 2003 to 2014.
Ridership is dominated by Baltimore and BWI Airport, which have grown by 21% and 28% respectively. It doesn’t show up because of the scale of the graph, but Maryland’s fastest growing stations are definitely the two served by the Capitol Limited: Rockville, which has surged by 172%, and Cumberland, which grew by 72%. Meanwhile, ridership to New Carrollton has declined by 26%, and Aberdeen has held steady with a 4% growth rate.
Finally, this pie chart shows the evolving dominance of the state’s busiest stations.