PLN Announces New Forum - Reserve Your Seat Today!

**Reserve Your Seat Today!**

Mark your calendar for Purple Line NOW's third forum in our Envisioning the Purple Line Series called "The Denver Eagle Commuter Rail Lines: A Successful Public/Private Partnership Project" on Thursday, September 29, from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

Purple Line NOW is delighted to present Brian Middleton, Project Director for the Regional Transportation District's FasTracks Eagle P3 commuter rail project in Denver, the first such P3 in the country. He will give an overview of how a successful P3 project works and describe how his team made it happen in their city. Brian is the go-to subject matter expert on all things Eagle P3. He has worked on transit projects across the globe, initially serving as the contractor’s project manager on projects including P3s. After moving to the United States 20 years ago, he supported transit agencies across the nation with Design-Build (DB) and Design-Build-Operate-Maintain (DBOM) projects prior to moving to Denver to lead the Eagle P3 project. As an added bonus, Brian has worked with Fluor for many years - the same concessionaire chosen to build and operate the Purple Line.

Special Note: This event is free and open to the public, but you must register in advance as space is limited. Your name will be held at the registration desk when you arrive at the event. You'll remember we had a waiting list for seating at our last forum and we anticipate a crowd for this forum, as well. If you would like to bring a guest, please RSVP for them separately - only one guest per registration. We hope you are enjoying this innovative series! 

Two other important items for our Purple Line NOW supporters:

1) Many of you have questions about how the recent federal ruling and temporary delay will affect the project going forward. We are working hard to get answers for you, so please stay tuned to Purple Line NOW for information as we move forward. Purple Line NOW fully expects the fundamentals of the project will be once again validated, putting the Purple Line back on track. In that light, we are excited to bring you an expert who has created a successful Public Private Partnership (P3) in another city.

2) We rely on your donations to continue this series of informative forums - your generosity in recent weeks in light of the ruling has been so appreciated! If you haven't yet become a sponsor of the Envisioning the Purple Line series, please consider doing so. This signature series is an ideal opportunity to connect with project stakeholders, as well as key leaders and community organizers. For more information or to join our terrific list of sponsors, please visit our Sponsorship Page or contact Christine Scott, Executive Director, cscott@purplelinenow.com.

Thanks to our many sponsors who make this series possible. We are grateful to all of our donors who keep our train running. We hope to see you on September 29!

Download information here!


Purple Line Coalition Letter of Support to Secretary Rahn

August 9, 2016

The Honorable Pete K. Rahn
Secretary
Maryland Department of Transportation
7201 Corporate Center Drive
Hanover, MD 21076 

Dear Secretary Rahn:

As a coalition of organizations that strongly supports the Purple Line, we want to thank you for your continued commitment to the Purple Line. We were very disappointed in the recent court ruling vacating the project’s Record of Decision and ordering the Maryland Transit Administration to conduct a supplemental EIS. Coming only four days before the anticipated signing of the Full Funding Grant Agreement, this decision was obviously a surprise and a setback. Like you, we are deeply concerned that further delays in this long-anticipated and essential transit project may imperil it. 

As you know, the Purple Line will create a vital and necessary east-west transit link through the Maryland suburbs, connecting employers and workers, encouraging investment in new transit-oriented development, and creating thousands of new jobs. In addition, the completion of the Capital Crescent Trail from Bethesda to Silver Spring, which is being built in conjunction with the Purple Line, will provide a safe and reliable route for pedestrians and bicyclists. For these reasons, we applauded Governor Hogan’s decision to move forward with the Purple Line. We know the decision was not made lightly, and that you worked closely with him to ensure that the project can be completed in a cost-effective manner.

We need the Purple Line now more than ever and do not believe that further study is necessary to demonstrate why it is one of the FTA’s most highly-rated transit projects. In fact, there is every reason to believe that Metro’s renewed commitment to improved performance and its SafeTrack program, which will be completed over the coming year, will result in increased Metro ridership well in advance of the Purple Line’s anticipated opening in five years.

For these reasons, we were very encouraged by your decision to appeal this flawed ruling and would like to offer our continued support and assistance to you and the Maryland Transit Administration to ensure that the Purple Line can move forward without further delay. Once again, thanks to you and your team at the MTA for all your hard work on this issue.

Sincerely,

Ralph Bennett, President
Purple Line Now 

Greg Billing, Executive Director
Washington Area Bicyclist Association

Ronit Dancis, President
Action Committee for Transit 

Daniel G. Waetjen, Chairman
Greater Washington Board of Trade 

Georgette Godwin, President and CEO
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce 

David Harrington, President and CEO
Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce 

Ginanne M. Italiano, IOM, President and CEO
The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce

Jane Redicker, IOM, President and CEO
Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce

Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director
Coalition for Smarter Growth 

cc: The Honorable Barbara Mikulski, U. S. Senator
     The Honorable Ben Cardin, U.S. Senator
     The Honorable Christopher Van Hollen, U.S. Congressman
     Governor Larry Hogan
     Craig Williams, Chief of Staff to Governor Hogan
     Roy C. McGrath, Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Hogan
     Joseph Getty, Legislative Director to Governor Hogan
     Adam Dubitsky, Policy Director to Governor Hogan
     Mark Newgent, Deputy Policy Director to Governor Hogan
     Charles Lattuca, Maryland Transit Administration, Executive Director
     Montgomery County Delegation
     Prince George's County Delegation
     Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and County Councilmembers
     Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and County Councilmembers

 DOWNLOAD LETTER HERE


Maryland Will Appeal Judge's Ruling Delaying the Purple Line

Maryland will appeal the Judge's ruling delaying the Purple Line:

"Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn says the state will appeal the ruling made Wednesday by a federal judge that vacates federal approval of the Purple Line light-rail project and requires the state to conduct another ridership study.

“We are deeply disappointed that this puts the Purple Line in jeopardy,” Rahn said in a statement. “We will work closely with the Attorney General to seek a quick decision from the court of appeals"

Read more here:

Plaintiffs Celebrate Purple Line Decision While Transit Advocates Condemn It
Maryland transportation chief says state will appeal ruling by federal judge
BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM


Judge Orders Additional Study - Delays Project Start Date

Purple Line NOW was disappointed by Judge Richard Leon's order mandating a project delay for additional study. PLN Board President Ralph Bennett elaborates, “The need for the Purple Line only grows more compelling over time as our region adds new residents and jobs. We have no doubt that the study ordered by Judge Leon will affirm the same fact found by all of the past studies: our region desperately needs East-West transit alternatives. This decision delays relief for tens of thousands of future riders, for employees going to a job in Bethesda, for students young and old commuting to the University of Maryland, for 90,000 Marylanders who will newly be within a half mile of transit, and for thousands of workers who will be employed to construct it."

The ruling delays a project supported by Maryland's Republican Governor, Democratic statehouse, and by the public and elected officials in both Montgomery and Prince George's counties. "We take Metro's safety difficulties very seriously, as do our elected officials, the Maryland Transit Agency, and the Federal Transit Administration," says Purple Line Vice President Greg Sanders. "They are well aware that the region needs both systems and that the Purple Line is planned to start operation in 2022, years after the current Metro repairs are complete.”

With your help, Purple Line NOW will remain engaged to highlight the project’s widespread support and the many ways it will make our region better for decades to come. We are already planning an exciting forum on September 29th that will bring in experts from Denver, Colorado to show us the real world benefits of a public-private partnership model employed by the Purple Line. Stay tuned for all of the details coming soon!

We are dismayed, but not discouraged and confident that together we can overcome this setback, just as we have greater challenges in the past. Please feel free to call or email with questions or concerns as we move forward!

Purple Line NOW



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