BALTIMORE — The new Camden Station officially has opened after two years of planning and construction at a cost of $7 million.
"I'm delighted to report that this project was on time and on budget," announced Maryland Stadium Authority Executive Director Michael Frenz.
In addition to a facelift, which matches nearby Camden Yards, the station will serve as a hub bringing MARC train, light rail and bus riders under one roof, and aside from the aesthetics, on this day with temperatures in the mid-90s, it's already proving its worth.
"You can imagine on a day like today, it would be much more comfortable to be in the air-conditioned lobby watching from behind glass rather than standing out here on concrete waiting 20 minutes for the train to arrive," said Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn.
The old MARC Camden Station was built 26 years ago, and it was intended to be a temporary facility.
Under Governor Larry Hogan, the transportation secretary says the state has now invested more than a $100 million into MARC trains, light rail cars and new buses, which are already paying dividends.
"Before BaltimoreLink, on-time performance of our local bus routes was 59 percent,” said Rahn. “We are now exceeding 71 percent and are on a path for continued improvement."
In fact, state leaders claim transit use across the country was down 2.3 percent last year, while ridership on Baltimore's public buses grew by a percentage point, which suggests investments like this one can still pay off for public transportation if you focus on customer service and their overall experience.