Purple Line Gets Federal Blessing in Maryland

The Federal Transit Authority has granted one of the final approvals needed for the Purple Line—a 16-mile light rail line between Bethesda and New Carrollton in Maryland.
March 20, 2014, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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“The Federal Transit Administration has just issued a Record of Decision for the Purple Line, basically approving the 16-mile light rail line between Bethesda and New Carrollton,” reports Dan Reed. Maryland Transit Administration officials made the announcement during a Montgomery County Planning Board meeting. The FTA is expected to make a formal announcement next week.

“The agency's decision means Maryland can start purchasing right-of-way to build the $2.37 billion Purple Line, and makes it eligible for federal funding. President Obama recently included it in his 2015 budget, which Congress will have to approve later this year.” The Purple Line is scheduled to break ground next year and open in 2020.

Regarding the certainty of the Purple Line’s construction, Reed reports: “With state funding in place and an ongoing search for a private partner in the works, nearly all of the money needed has been secured. As a sign of how likely the Purple Line is to get built, the Planning Board is meeting today to make detailed recommendations about how it should interact with surrounding neighborhoods, like what materials to use for retaining walls.”

In a separate article, Robert McCartney details the last-gasp opposition efforts of the Town of Chevy Chase. McCartney sums up the situation thusly: “Some people have more money than good judgment.”

In a bit of dumb luck, Los Angeles has had a similar issue with a proposed transit line of the same name that will have to pass through Beverly Hills.

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Published on Thursday, March 20, 2014 in Greater Greater Washington
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