We wanted to bring you a few updates on the Purple Line project, now in full swing and moving along according to schedule!
- Purple Line NOW welcomes Fred Craig, the new CEO of the project concessionaire, Purple Line Transit Partners. As you may have read in a recent Washington Post article, Mr. Craig has called the project “transformational” for the region:
“Connecting to the Metro lines leverages both systems phenomenally. Right now if you want to go from one end of the Red Line to the other, you’d have to go all the way downtown and all the way back out. I’d bet that’s an hour-and-a-half trip. With the Purple Line, you’ll go across and go back up. It probably cuts that trip time by two-thirds … It also gives a tremendous amount of transit options to people. Quite often you’ll find that the underemployed or unemployed are not in the same location as the jobs. You see people with a three-seat ride to get to their job because they have to ride a bus and then another bus and another bus. These are people who can sometimes least afford all that time because they have young children or have got to get them to school. So what we’re trying to do is provide opportunities for people to get to some of those better paying jobs and in some cases get job access at all.”
- Montgomery County Council T&E committee held a work session on the Purple Line on March 22. You can view the session here: MC County T&E Committee Work Session. New PLTP CEO Fred Craig reported that the Community Advisory Teams (CATs) continue to meet regularly, and their feedback and input has been very helpful. You can view materials related to each meeting here: CATs Meeting Materials. The concessionaire also reported that they have had significant participation from “disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) and local Montgomery County small businesses.”
Along those lines, if you own a business along the Purple Line corridor that is being impacted by Purple Line construction, send Purple Line NOW an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can add you to a list that we will house on our website in an effort to remind our supporters that you are still open for business and need customers! Or, if you've moved due to construction impacts, we'll let our followers know where they can find you.
You can check on the construction schedule at this link: Purple Line Construction Calendar. If you follow the link, you can sign up for those construction alerts to be sent directly to you by email.
- Tree removal operations in forested areas along the route have concluded for the season (April through September) in accordance with federal law that protects migratory birds' nest.
- Did you know that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has agreed to preserve and reuse the steel girders from the historic Talbot Avenue bridge? According to an article in The Washington Post (Part of historic Maryland bridge will be preserved along Purple Line trail), the girders will be "installed on a vacant state-owned parcel about two blocks from the bridge, near Talbot and Michigan avenues. They will form short walls on both sides of the Capital Crescent Trail to give runners and cyclists the feel of crossing a bridge."
- If you haven’t heard, later this summer the 16th Street Post Office in Silver Spring will be temporarily relocated to the Silver Spring Library (a future stop for the Purple Line!) We’ll let you know the date of that relocation when we have it – here’s a short article on the plans: 16th Street Post Office to Temporarily Relocate.
If you are receiving this email, you are already signed up for blasts via our website, but do take a moment to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, where the information we received is disbursed as soon as we get it.
Our Board of Directors and our expansive team of thought leaders are working hard to make sure we are on top of the latest developments and keeping a watchful eye on any bumps along the way. Have a question about the project? Email us at email@example.com and we’ll put you in touch with someone who can provide the answers.
As always, we exist because of your elbow grease and financial support. Please consider a donation to Purple Line NOW – your support allows us to continue our work. Thank you!
ICYMI: "There were new indications on Thursday that Maryland leaders are poised to hit a crucial funding target set by regional advocates of the Washington area’s Metro system...
Metro is the third busiest transit system in the nation, but it is the only big-city system in the U.S. that lacks a dedicated source of funding, something the agency has said is a key reason why maintenance has fallen short."
The Purple Line is already positioned to avoid Metro's repair backlog because it already has a dedicated funding stream as part of the 30-year operations and maintenance portion of the public-private partnership.
For more information read the following article:
ON METRO FUNDING, TRAIN IS LEAVING THE STATION
By Bruce DePuyt
Thank you to all who were able to attend the Purple Line NOW project update forum on January 18 at Montgomery College with Maryland Secretary of Transportation, Pete Rahn. We hope you enjoyed the evening - we look forward to bringing more events like this to the community through our Envisioning the Purple Line series!
A big thank you to all of our guest speakers - they did an amazing job answering every last question from our audience members and the media. We are grateful for their time and their work to make this project a reality. First and foremost, Pete Rahn, Maryland Secretary of Transportation, Susan Madden,Chief Government Relations Director, Montgomery College, our own Ralph Bennett, President, Purple Line NOW and our amazing panel: Charles Lattuca, Maryland Transit Administration, Executive Director for Transit Development and Delivery, Tim Cupples, Purple Line Implementation Manager, Montgomery County, Vic Weissberg, Senior Projects Coordinator/ Purple Line Project Manager, Prince George’s County (and Purple Line NOW Board Member), and Ashlie T. Bagwell, representing the Purple Line Transit Partners (Concessionaire), Senior Government Relations Associate, Harris Jones & Malone, LLC. A very special thank you to our terrific moderator,Andrew Metcalf, Bethesda Beat Transportation and Government Reporter. You can catch Andrew's insightful reporting on Twitter at @ajwatchmd.
We are thrilled that you can watch the whole event right here: Purple Line NOW January 18 FORUM. We appreciate our volunteer John Wetmore for taping and uploading the forum for us!
The evening was possible because of our sponsors - and we encourage you to thank them for their stewardship and support of Purple Line NOW. It is never too late to become a sponsor of our Envisioning the Purple Line series, so take a moment if you are able, to join these terrific folks by supporting Purple Line NOW. Thank you to Montgomery College for hosting the forum for us and to their wonderful staff to making it such a success.
Secretary Rahn provided a detailed update on where the project stands right now. He expects close to 60K riders a day from the get-go and nearly 75K riders by 2040! The Secretary did address the one-year delay caused by the lawsuit brought by Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail and the two Town of Chevy Chase residents, although he believes the opening will still occur in 2022, which is very good news, indeed. He also noted that there is a second lawsuit looming, with a hearing to be scheduled in the next few months. He does not expect the outcome of that lawsuit to delay construction, however.
The Secretary also highlighted the Community Advisory Teams (CATs). The CAT groups represent eight communities along the Purple Line corridor and comprised of residents, civic associations, and business owners committed to regularly meeting with MTA to discuss issues revolving around construction and other issues in their respective communities while the line is being built. He is especially proud of these teams because, as he said, "it's where we get our feedback and our grade."
Mr. Rahn was asked about the impact of construction on surrounding businesses. He said that MTA is working to minimize the amount of time each respective area is under construction. For our part, Purple Line NOW will be creating a page on our website listing business along the corridor most affected by the construction so that you can make a point to patronize them during this time. That page will be up soon - send along any businesses you think could use a boost from us!
Our moderator Andrew Metcalf opened the panel discussion by asking Chuck Lattuca, Executive Director for Transit Development and Delivery for MTA to give an overview of the first year of construction. He mentioned that any tree cutting should be done by April 1 to accommodate any migratory bird issues. They are putting in 10 miles of new sewer and water, electrical, and internet (some of the current overhead wires will be undergrounded). They are also completing site work grading.
Tim Cupples and Vic Weissberg spoke about their respective communities. Mr. Cupples highlighted that Montgomery County is working on Purple Line related projects, as well including the CCT Green Trail and the new south entrance at the Bethesda Metro. Mr. Weissberg said that the Prince George's County Government is following all of the moving pieces of construction and will be looking for ways to facilitate and interface whenever they can help to help their residents and move the project forward
Ashlie Bagwell, speaking on behalf of the concessionaire (Purple Line Transit Partners) mentioned that the project is at 75% design, meaning that there is not much more room or time for changes as the construction is moving along quickly now to make up for lost time. She encouraged everyone to sign up for construction alerts and notifications at www.purplelinemd.com. There, you will find information on utilities and road closures as well as any important information related to construction. The concessionaire is attending community events and committed to being an active participant with Purple Line related organizations such as Purple Line NOW.
We hope you enjoyed the evening and all the good information that was provided - we look forward to seeing you at future events!