Gov. Martin O'Malley visited the Halethorpe community Monday to announce the grand opening of the brand new Halethorpe MARC train station.
More than 50 people, including Dels. James Malone Jr. and Steven DeBoy, state Sen. Edward Kasemeyer, Sen. Ben Cardin and 1st District Councilman Tom Quirk, gathered at the station to hear about the project.
The new station, located about a quarter-mile from the existing station, features numerous improvements, including handicap accessible elevator towers, a 40-ton pedestrian bridge that connects them and a 700-foot raised platform that will make boarding and exiting trains easier.
The $32 million project began Feb. 5, 2011 and provided more than 500 people with jobs designing and constructing the new station, which accommodates almost 2,000 commuters each day.
"There are some things that are so important, and on such a scale, that we can only accomplish them together," O'Malley said Monday. "And certainly, rebuilding our transportation infrastructure and making mass transit a more available and attractive option [is one of them]."
"We were able to rebuild this station here in Halethorpe," O'Malley said Monday. "We chose to make this investment, along with many others, because we do have a statewide goal of doubling transit ridership."
University of Maryland Baltimore County has worked with the Maryland Transit Administration to provide shuttle service to and from the new station, an service Halethorpe Improvement Association President Carol Mox said will be great for the community.
"I know that UMBC is connected with this," Mox said. "So they're really looking to have the students an faculty and visitors who want to up [utilize the station].
"Therefore, you're going to get young students here," she said. "And maybe they will look at this community and say this is where I want to live."
"I would love to have young, educated students wanting to create their life here," Mox said. "That's what I'd like to see."