Red Line supporters plan to rally in Annapolis

Supporters of the 14.1-mile Red Line light rail planned for Baltimore are scheduled to stump for the project Monday night in Annapolis, even as it remains under review at the state level.

Several advocacy groups including the Action Committee for Transit, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Central Maryland Transportation Alliance and Red Line Now are scheduled to turn out to support the $2.9 billion rail line, which would run between Woodlawn and East Baltimore. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will be on hand as well, as will representatives from the Greater Baltimore Committee.

They’ll join supporters of the proposed $2.45 billion Bethesda-to-New Carrollton Purple Line for a transportation rally and lobby session, hitting talking points about how the projects could lose $900 million in federal funding if they don’t move forward and are projected to spur retail and housing development. The idea is to talk to legislators and show support for both the Baltimore and Washington, D.C.-area projects, said Brian O’Malley, CEO of the Central Maryland Transportation Alliance.

While there’s been speculation high costs and Gov. Larry Hogan’s skepticism could derail one or both of the Maryland light rail projects, it’s important for Red Line and Purple Line backers to show a unified front, he said.

“We have good partners in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County,” O’Malley said. “We’re stronger together than we are pitted against one another.”

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and County Council President George Leventhal will be at Monday’s event. So will Prince George’s County Council Chair Mel Franklin.

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