City Council members could save taxpayers thousands of dollars by commuting to a conference in D.C. by a MARC train like this one pictured at Baltimore's Penn Station instead of staying overnight in pricey hotels. File.
City Council members could save taxpayers thousands of dollars by commuting to a conference in D.C. by a MARC train like this one pictured at Baltimore's Penn Station instead of staying overnight in pricey hotels. File. (KENNETH K. LAM / Baltimore Sun)

In the article, "Baltimore City Council president and vice president to spend four nights in $300 hotel rooms for Washington conference" (Jan. 23), both the City Council president and vice president send an unflattering picture of city government and the commute from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. A MARC train round trip ticket from Baltimore Penn Station to Washington Union Station is only $16. Once in D.C., if they and the aide accompanying them shared a ride using a ride share service they could probably get to their destination for under $20.

With the conference fee for three total of $1,470 and an estimate of $300 for travel, that is much cheaper than the current $5,885 price tag for the four day conference billed to city taxpayers. Baltimore promotes itself as a place where people can live that work in the District, but if its elected officials don’t want to do the commute, why should people move to Baltimore and commute to D.C.?

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The U.S. Census Bureau is scheduled to release its yearly population data in March. If city officials don’t do a better job of promoting the city, its population will continue to decline.

David Placher, Baltimore

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