to be one of
Best in Nation
LPA Map and
Purple Line Final Design.
The Purple Line took another step forward on May 16, 2013 when Governor Martin O'Malley, Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., and House Speaker Michael E. Busch, joined by Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown, signed the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013. When fully implemented the legislation will invest $4.4 billion over the next six years to fund Maryland transportation projects.
As a result of the new legislation, Governor O'Malley was able to announce the first round of highway and transit projects to be funded with money generated by the Transportation Act. $1.2 billion will be dedicated for key new highway and transit projects from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore. As one of the state's highest priority transportation projects, the Purple Line as been scheduled to receive $280 million for final design. See the list of funding recipients in the Governor's May 16, 2013 Press Release
Governor O'Malley signing the Transportation Funding Bill
The Governor's May 16 announcement of the funding for final design keeps the Purple Line on track, and in a very competitive position to receive federal funding for construction. On May 15 MTA held the last of its series of five Open Houses to take comments from the public, and is now using this input to make final revisions to the Preliminary Engineering Plans. MTA will submit the Preliminary Engineering Plans for federal approval late this summer.
Private companies invited to get on board.
On May 15 state officials sponsored a conference to invite private industry to participate in building and operating the Purple Line under a public-private partnership. Interest is very high. As reported in the Washington Post, Private companies consider boarding Purple Line light-rail project, about 300 engineers, financiers and consultants filled a hotel conference room to learn how they might help build and profit from the Purple Line.
In a public-private partnership the state would own the rail line and control fares. Private companies could pay for some or all of the design and construction costs, which the state would pay back when certain milestones have been reached. If private companies operated or maintained the Purple Line, the companies would be repaid by the state over an agreed-upon period when performance standards are met. This arrangement would make more money available to the project for construction, freeing up state money for other transportation projects.
The state has used public-private partnerships for other transportation projects, but this is the first time it would be used for transit. The heavy attendence at this conference demonstrated the very strong interest in this new approach.
We have big challenges ahead.
The MTA expects to complete the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and to submit the Purple Line project to the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) late this summer for a Record of Decision. The critical ridership and cost effectiveness numbers look great for the Purple Line, and make it very competitive for federal matching funds! The Purple Line will be ready to move into Final Design and right-of-way acquisition as soon as a Record of Decision is received from the FTA. Construction can begin as early as 2015.
Getting better transportation funding is a big step forward for the Purple Line. But we will have many more challenges ahead before we are done. Transit opponents will continue to search for any opportunity to derail the project. Please stay with us and help us keep the forward momentum.
Thank you for your support.
P.O. Box 7074
Silver Spring, MD 20907-7074
Shorter Commutes - Less Pollution - Better Trails - More Jobs - Higher Property Values - Stronger Communities