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Wed Oct 16, 2019, 05:17 PM

Eastern Panhandle localities come up with tentative plan for saving MARC service

Hat tip, a northern Virginia railroad enthusiasts group on Yahoo!

Eastern Panhandle localities come up with tentative plan for saving MARC service
By Phil Kabler, Staff writer – Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail, Oct 11, 2019

In a closed-door meeting Thursday evening, representatives of seven Eastern Panhandle cities and counties came up with a tentative plan to contribute a total of $300,000 to continue MARC commuter rail service into the panhandle, Delegate John Doyle, D-Jefferson, said Friday.

That was after a representative of the Governor’s Office told the group that Gov. Jim Justice is willing to increase state funding to continue the six-trains-per-day operations, if the Eastern Panhandle localities make a serious financial commitment to the service, Doyle said.

He said Berkeley Bentley, deputy general counsel to Justice, addressed the meeting in Charles Town.

“He said the governor is willing to step up to the plate, providing that the local governments come up with significant money,” Doyle said.

Doyle said representatives from Berkeley and Jefferson counties, and from the cities of Martinsburg, Charles Town, Ranson, Harpers Ferry, Bolivar and Shepherdstown, then came up with a proposal for a funding formula based on population.

Contributions would range from just over $170,000 for Berkeley County to $410 for Harpers Ferry, whose Town Council has already pledged $2,500 to maintain MARC service.

“These representatives have to go back to their governing bodies, and say, ‘This is our allotment. Can we do it?’” said Doyle, who said he was encouraged about the proposal.

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