Just months after launching Maryland’s first-ever weekend service on MARC’s Penn Line, Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown today announced the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will add more train cars to increase capacity on the popular rail service between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. due to a steady growth in ridership.

MTA currently runs nine three-car trains on Saturdays and six three-car trains on Sundays. Beginning Saturday, March 15, 2014, MTA will add one to two MARC cars per train both days. The additional cars will increase capacity from 389 to a maximum of 653 passengers per train. The March 8 and 9 weekend saw the largest number of MARC train weekend riders to date with a total of 6,530 passengers.

“The steady growth in MARC passengers riding between these two great cities confirms our choice to invest $46 million to start this much needed weekend service,” said Governor O’Malley. “Since 2007, our Administration has invested more than $500 million to enhance MARC train services to ensure this growing transit system takes people where they want to go, when they want to go, with convenience and affordability.”

MARC weekend service was made possible thanks to $46 million added by Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown to the Maryland Department of Transportation’s six-year budget with funds from the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 (Transportation Act).

“We passed the Transportation Act last year because we knew it would help expand economic opportunities for more Marylanders,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “By using funds from the Transportation Act to invest in MARC weekend service, we are connecting people to jobs, businesses to customers, travelers to BWI Marshall Airport and tourists to attractions in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.”

MARC weekend, which kicked off with an inaugural celebration at both Union and Penn Stations on December 7, 2013, with Lt. Governor Brown, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings, featured a total of 4,085 passengers for that weekend and ridership has steadily increased since then.