February 7, 2013
Purple Line Design Will Stop if Maryland Doesnâ€™t Get More Transpo Funding
By Martin de Caro
(Washington, D.C. â€“ WAMU) Local officials are asking Marylandâ€™s Department of Transportation not to divert funding from the Purple Line, the proposed light rail line that would connect Montgomery and Prince Georgeâ€™s counties.
The agency is considering reallocating $41 million dollars in Purple Line design funding to other sources if state lawmakers fail to pass a transportation revenue increase in this legislative session. The move would put the rail project on hold, which would be â€œunacceptable,â€ according to Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro. She sent a letter voicing her concerns to MDOTâ€™s acting secretary this week.
â€œMontgomery County, specifically, is relying on these projects to continue our economic development strategies through our different redevelopment projects,â€ Navarro says. â€œMany of the redevelopment projects that we have already adopted, all the master plans that we have adopted will mostly likely not be realized.â€
MDOT agrees, says agency spokesman Jack Cahalan â€” which is why it believes the legislature should approve more money.
â€œThe bottom line is, without a revenue increase, the state will simply not have the money to construct any new highway or transit projects,â€ says Cahalan. â€œThatâ€™s the reality.â€
The 16-mile Purple Line carries a $2.4 billion dollar price tag. Montgomery County officials say engineering funding for the Corridor Cities Transitway, a proposed bus rapid transit system, is also on the line.
February 7, 2013