State officials dedicated a new $32.7 million MARC station in Halethorpe to the late Del. James E. "Ned" Malone, Sr. on Monday.
Gov. Martin O'Malley and U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, who was speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates when Malone was in the legislature, cut a ribbon on the new station, flanked by members of the Malone family and University of Maryland Baltimore County cheerleaders and students.
Malone served three terms in the General Assembly, worked as a lobbyist to the late Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer and served as the Baltimore County sheriff. Before his death in 2002, Malone was a special assistant at the Maryland Department of Transportation.
As Malone's son Del. James E. Malone Jr. unveiled a plaque to his father, his voice choked with emotion.
"He wasn't just my father; he was my best friend." Malone, Jr. said afterward. "It makes me feel like a million dollars."
O'Malley and Cardin praised the new Baltimore County MARC station - the fifth busiest on the Penn line - as an investment in the state's future. The state contributed about $10 million of the project's cost; the rest was paid for with federal funds.
The upgrades to the MARC station are designed to more quickly move more people through the station at peak times. The state has set a goal of doubling transit ridership by 2020.