It’s Happening: Construction of Maryland’s Purple Line Set to Start This Year

Yesterday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced that a contractor has been selected to build the 14-mile Purple Line light rail in DC’s Maryland suburbs. It’s a milestone and a major relief following Hogan’s long history of brinkmanship with the project.

The Purple Line would represent a major expansion of Washington, D.C.,'s transit system and would likely lead to a boom in development in the Maryland suburbs. Image: PurpleLineMD
Map: PurpleLineMD

Kelli Raboy at Greater Greater Washington posted the happy news:

After Marylanders elected Governor Larry Hogan in November 2014, it wasn’t clear whether the long-planned light-rail line would even happen. But following a prolonged public show of support, Hogan announced that the Purple Line would get built if Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties committed more funds and trains ran less frequently.

Four teams submitted bids in December, and Maryland selected Purple Line Transit Partners. Some have questioned the bidder’s plan to purchase railcars from a company that made some of Metro’s least reliable cars and has been plagued with delays in other cities.

After a series of state and federal approvals, construction should start late this year for a planned opening date in spring 2022.

Progress on the Purple Line, however, is also a bittersweet reminder of Hogan’s other big transit policy decision — killing Baltimore’s Red Line so he could shift hundreds of millions of dollars to road expansion projects.

Elsewhere on the Network today: PubliCola posts an update on Seattle’s precarious bike-share situation. And the Dallas Morning News transportation blog reports that a North Texas toll road builder has filed for bankruptcy.

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