AAA Mid-Atlantic Reacts to Hogan’s Purple Line Announcement
“We applaud the Governor for moving the Purple Line light-rail project forward. AAA has long been a supporter of the Purple Line and recognizes the importance of continuous improvement of mass transit systems in the Washington metro area, which is one of the most congested areas in the nation.
The Purple Line proposal has been on the drawing board since 1989, when then Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer called for building two light rail lines with state funds. One of those concepts evolved into 16-mile light-rail line that runs east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Montgomery County and Prince George’s County. The long-planned and long-anticipated project had advanced into the engineering phase in August 2014, months after the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) recommended that the Purple Line receive $900 million, including $100 million in Fiscal Year 2015, as outlined by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). All told, light rail projects in Baltimore and in Washington’s Maryland suburbs have already received $2 billion in federal funding.
Under a timeline from the Maryland Transit Administration, construction was slated to begin on the Purple Line project this year in 2015 and it was scheduled to open for service in 2020. Running from Bethesda to New Carrollton, it is projected that between 35,000 and 42,000 riders are expected to use the Purple Line light-rail each day by 2030. Estimated ridership is expected to reach more than 74,000 by 2040. The Purple Line will underscore the word “mass” in mass transit.”
In Maryland and in the Washington, D.C. metro area, we have been very hypocritical about funding mass transit, so this is an opportunity to make a significant transportation upgrade and put more money where our collective mouths have been. Budget is the truest expression of policy. The Purple Line will redound to the benefit of suburban Marylanders and to the residents, commuters and businesses in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County. Transportation, including mass transit, is the backbone of the economic well-being of our nation, state, and region.
For those of us who seek and support sustainable transportation solutions, that includes mass transit, moving ahead with the Purple Line project is a great victory for a region bedeviled by the worst congestion in the entire nation. AAA remains committed to advancing solutions to meet the transportation challenges of the future.”
In this MyMCMedia Extra video, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett shares his reaction to Governor Larry Hogan’s announcement that the Purple Line is moving forward and that other transportation improvements are in the works for improving congestion along I-270 in Montgomery and Frederick counties. Take a look: Related:
In this MyMCMedia Extra, Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner said Hogan’s Purple Line decision is a positive announcement but “we need to know the details.” Hogan said, at a news conference on June 25, the project will require an additional investment from both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. “A little more we can do. A […]