$5.6M Purple Line Commuter Rail Line Breaks Ground

Gov. Larry Hogan on Monday kicked off construction of the Purple Line rail to serve commuters in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

HYATTSVILLE, MD — Maryland officials on Monday held a ceremonial ground-breaking for the embattled and long-anticipated $5.6 billion Purple Line commuter rail project that will serve Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao attended the event, which came together when the federal government las week committed $900 million to the 16-mile light rail system from Bethesda to New Carrollton. The Purple Line will run east-west inside the Capital Beltway, with 21 stations connecting to: Metrorail’s Orange, Green, and Red lines; the MARC Brunswick, Camden, and Penn lines; and Amtrak at New Carrollton.

“The Purple Line project will be an important economic driver for Maryland,” said Governor Larry Hogan on Monday. “It will integrate seamlessly with our current transit systems, combining Metro and Amtrak, to provide more transit options across the region. Just the construction alone will mean thousands of new jobs for Marylanders.

Work can begin after a late May court decision rejected a lawsuit that questioned the environmental impact on birds and wildlife.

“The Purple Line is a great example of what can be achieved when federal, state, and private partners work together,” said Secretary Chao.

Coalition for Smarter Growth Executive Director Stewart Schwartz said in a statement in May that Metro ridership will make up a limited percentage of Purple Line ridership.

“The Purple Line is a badly-needed east-west transit connection for access to jobs and revitalization, and significant ridership will be driven by that demand, as well as the revitalization inside the Beltway that the project will spur,” Schwartz said. “We are also certain Metro ridership will recover as the system completes repairs and reforms. In an era of climate change, the most progressive transportation solution available is to build more transit.”

President Donald Trump’s team in January put together a list of 50 infrastructure projects, which was obtained by McClatchy, and it called for $5.6 billion to build the Purple Line. The line would provide a direct connection to Metrorail’s green, orange and red lines through 21 stations, plus MARC, Amtrak and local bus service, according to the report posted by McClatchy.

Construction of the Purple Line has a price tag of $5.6 billion and would lead to 5,000 “direct job years,” the report adds, noting that engineering is done, permitting is 95 percent complete and the funding would be a combination of public and private with a large public share.

Maryland is expected to pay about $3.3 billion of the Purple Line cost over three and a half decades, according to state officials.

To supplement state funding, more than $330 million in cash and contributions will come from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties: Montgomery pledged to pay $210 million, and Prince George’s County agreed to contribute $120 million to the project.

Ground was scheduled to be broken for the rail route by the end of 2016, state leaders said, with plans for Purple Line service to begin in 2022. The Purple Line would run through Silver Spring and College Park and would include five stops on or near the University of Maryland’s campus that would be free for students.

Stations for the Purple Line LPA would be at these locations:

  • Bethesda
  • Connecticut Avenue
  • Lyttonsville
  • Woodside/16th Street
  • Silver Spring Transit Center
  • Silver Spring Library
  • Dale Drive
  • Manchester Place
  • Long Branch
  • Piney Branch Road
  • Takoma/Langley Transit Center
  • Riggs Road
  • Adelphi Road/West Campus
  • Campus Center
  • East Campus
  • College Park Metro
  • M Square
  • Riverdale Park
  • Beacon Heights
  • Annapolis Road/Glenridge
  • New Carrollton

Photo courtesy of Governor’s office. Click here to read the original story