Laurel commuters will have more options starting Monday morning, as the MARC train's Camden line expands its service in the morning, afternoon and evening.
The line, which carries commuters between Baltimore and Washington and includes a stop on Laurel's Main Street, will now feature an additional train during the morning commute, an earlier afternoon departure and an extra evening train.
The extra times are as follows:
• New morning eastbound train, leaving Washington's Union Station at 7:40 a.m. and arriving in Baltimore at 8:46 a.m. The train stops in Laurel at 8:07 a.m.
• Earlier afternoon eastbound train, leaving Washington's Union Station at 3:30 p.m. and arriving at Dorsey Station at 4:15 p.m. The train stops in Laurel at 3:55 p.m.
• New evening westbound train, leaving Dorsey Station at 4:45 p.m. and arriving at Washington Union Station at 5:50 p.m. The train stops in Laurel at 4:58 p.m.
The 5:53 p.m. train from Union Station will also add a stop in College Park at 6:04 p.m., closing a service gap to the station of an hour and a half.
The extra trains are the result of funding from a 2013 transportation package passed by the General Assembly, the first such bill in more than 20 years.
Sen. Jim Rosapepe, a Democrat who represents Laurel in District 21, said the added service would be a boost to Laurel and the entire region by making transit more convenient and, he hopes, reducing car traffic in the process.
"We have the worst traffic in congestion in the nation in the Washington, D.C. area and the fifth worst in the Baltimore region," Rosapepe said.
He cited a study that shows the Washington, D.C. area has the worst traffic congestion in the nation, and the Baltimore region not much better at fifth worst.
"If you're in Laurel, you understand traffic congestion," Rosapepe said.
While he expected the added service would make the Camden line "more flexible and convenient" for commuters, he said he plans to push for more even trains in years ahead.
Weekend service on the MARC's Penn line, which doesn't stop in Laurel, began in December 2013, but Camden line service is still limited to weekdays.
"This expansion is terrific, but we need more trains during the week and on the weekend," Rosapepe said.