HANOVER, Md. (DC NEWS NOW) — A potential rail worker strike could leave some commuters in the DMV stranded this Friday.
The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) said an ongoing labor dispute between CSX Transportation and its labor unions could lead to a labor strike on Friday, Sept. 16.
“Since CSX owns and maintains the Camden and Brunswick lines in addition to dispatching MARC trains, any labor strike would result in the immediate suspension of all MARC Camden and Brunswick Line service until a resolution is reached,” read a statement on MTA’s website.
The strike would also affect commuters who take the Virginia Railway Express.
In an alert sent to passengers the agency said, “Any labor strike would result in the immediate suspension of all VRE train service until a resolution is reaching. We of course hold out hope for a resolution… VRE recommends riders plan for alternative commute options in the event of a strike.”
Right now, the VRE is pulling double duty. As some commuters who typically take Metro’s Blue or Yellow line are opting for the railway due to construction Metro started this week. Six Metro stations south of Reagan Airport are closed through October 22.
“This is all brand new to me. I was taking Metro first, so I now had to switch to VRE to get in because of where I come from, we’re affected on both ends,” said commuter Christina Brown. “(If the strike happens) that would be a little bit more tricky, trying to figure out another route again, but push come to shove I’d just drive in to have a piece of mind to get to work.”
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) asked passengers who typically take the Camden and Brunswick lines to have alternative travel options in the event that a strike does take place.
Those options include Washington Area Transit Authority (WMATA) trains which would not be impacted by a strike in this case, as well as MTA buses. Rideshare services and carpooling are a couple of other things to consider.
Stacey Fearheiley, a commuter at the Germantown MARC train station, said the potential strike had her thinking of a different way to get to work or not traveling at all.
“I’ll be working from home a little bit more, or I’ll be driving down to Shady Grove and taking the Metro,” said Fearheiley.
MDOT said WMATA and RideOn buses will honor MARC weekly and monthly passes. Camden Line tickets also are cross-honored on the Penn Line.