U.S. Department of Transportation Announces a TIFIA Loan of $874.6 Million for the Maryland Purple Line Project
This loan, which is taken on by the Purple Line Transit Partners and not the state of Maryland, completes another critical remaining step left before construction can start later this year.
“The Washington metropolitan region is one of the most congested areas in the country, and viable transportation alternatives are needed to accommodate a growing population,” said Secretary Foxx. “When completed, the Maryland Purple Line will connect residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, MD with improved access to jobs, education, and medical care and, overall, will help improve the quality of life.”
The Purple Line's vendors will close the deal on major financing around the June 13th and 14th. Now that the ratings have come in just where they were expected to be, we're one step closer.
Fitch Rates Purple Line Transit Partners' Sr PABs & Sub TIFIA Loan 'BBB+(EXP)'; Outlook Stable
Read more here > http://goo.gl/3SgseQ
The Maryland Transit Authority (MTA) is hosting an important community forum regarding Wayne Avenue THIS Thursday , May 26th, 7-9 PM at the Silver Spring Civic Center. The Purple Line Transit Partners, the private sector vendors, will also be in attendance.These events can both be an important medium for informing people about changes and soliciting input about specific implementation choices. However, local opponents often try to turn the events into gripe sessions and promote poison pill proposals rather than taking the opportunity to collaborate. Opponents should get a fair hearing, but so should the strong majority of area resident (two-thirds in Montgomery County!) who support the Purple Line.
We hope you can attend - please feel free to share these important facts.
For those attending and others who are curious, here is a roundup of some key facts on that part of the Purple Line. We've talked a lot about the big picture. The Purple Line connects four Metro stations: Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton. That's on top of all three MARC and two Amtrak lines and bus hubs like Takoma-Langley. Ninety thousand people will be within a half mile of a station for the first time and seventeen thousand cars will be taken off the streets. Here are some key details:
The Dale Drive station, like other Silver Spring stations, dramatically expands the range of jobs, shops, and schools that residents can get to without a car (map courtesy of PLCC).
- Bethesda, Wheaton, University of Maryland campus center, and Fort Totten will now all be less than a half an hour away.
- The Purple Line will not be run by WMATA. It will be a Maryland Transit Administration line run by the vendors you can meet at Thursday's meeting. The vendors' revenue directly depends on how good a job they do running the trains on time and keeping the line in good working order.
The Purple Line promotes pedestrian safety!
- While a left-turn lane is being added to Wayne Avenue at Dale Drive, the speed limit on Wayne has been lowered to 25 MPH in response to community concerns. This is not planned to change during or after construction.
- Adding that left turn lane allows for continued use of existing arteries without rerouting traffic through side streets or unintentionally encouraging drivers to race the train.
- MTA has emphasized that safety is a top concern and that trains will operate at lower speeds entering and leaving the Dale station.
- There will continue to be dedicated crossing guards when students are arriving or leaving school, as well as warning lights at Wayne and Springvale.
- Communities with better transit access also tend to be safer, because they take seriously the needs of all road users - not just drivers.
The Purple Line produces value for those nearby!
- Multiple studies have shown that proximity to light rail stations generally increases values for nearby homeowners, a benefit even for homeowners who aren't riding.
- You can see this in the DC area, as well. Land near rail stations is disproportionately valuable.
- The contract includes a range of incentives to minimize noise during both construction and operation - if they are too loud it will cost the private operator.
- In response to community concerns about noise, the concessionaires have added solar power rail lubricators to their proposals.
- The contract mandates that the concessionaire engage a certified arborist to monitor and approve plans for tree preservation efforts during construction.
Thanks for your support of the Purple Line and special thanks to all who can attend and voice their support for the project. Please feel free to share.
As you know by now, every penny you donate is used as carefully as possible to raise awareness and support for the soon-to-be-a-reality project. We live on a bare-bones budget and need your help today to continue to provide important outreach to our communities. As the fight for getting financial backing for the project winds down, the importance of educating the communities about the timeline, the path, and the hurdles still looming continues.
Please take a moment to add your name to our generous sponsors - any amount is appreciated - your donations have a real impact on our goal of making the community aware of where the Purple Line will be, the timeline for getting it built, the process necessary to gain funding and approval, and most importantly, to advocate and educate our elected officials about the importance of getting this project underway as soon as possible.
In the past year alone, here's what Purple Line NOW has been working on:
1) Attending many local and state meetings to testify, participate in, and advocate for the Purple Line. Our board and team of dedicated volunteers are out in force at Purple Line-oriented meetings and events, and regularly connect with our congressional delegation to keep the Purple Line at the forefront of their work.
2) We have advocated for and met with county officials to push for a dynamic Purple Line display at the new Silver Spring Library to help the community understand where the path of the Line will pass. Just a few weeks ago, this beautiful display went up and we are thrilled to have been a part of the hard work of pushing to make it happen.
3) Purple Line NOW kicked off the first forum in the Envisioning the Purple Line Series called Purple Line and a New College Park on February 22 at the University of Maryland. The forum brought together leaders from the university, housing industry, City of College Park, and student body to talk about the impact the Purple Line will have on the university and the greater College Park area.
4) We presented the second forum in the Envisioning the Purple Line series on April 21 at Montgomery College to a sold-out crowd. A Purple Line Update featured Maryland Secretary of Transportation, Pete Rahn and a knowledgeable and enthusiastic panel moderated by WAMU's Transportation Reporter Martin Di Caro and included Qingbin Cui, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland College Park, Charles Lattuca, Executive Director for Transit Development and Delivery at the Maryland Transit Administration, and Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal.
5) Purple Line NOW manages a brand new website that brings all of the Purple Line breaking news to you in an easy to read format, packed full of information to keep everyone up-to-date on the progress of the project. And, we manage a Facebook page and Twitter presence as well, to spread the word!
6) We are currently planning the next two events in the Envisioning the Purple Line Series, one featuring best practices from other communities who have utilized the P3 Partnership model and one in the Takoma/Langley Crossroads area to bring the community up to date on the Purple Line. Dates and panels will be announced soon (so keep your eyes peeled for your invitation - the last event was sold out!)
7) As always, we monitor important meetings that may have an impact of the timeline of the project, we are working with county officials to have signage posted along the Purple Line route so our communities know where the train will run, and we continue to work with local media to provide as much outreach as possible to the community at large.
We are only able to do all these things because of your support and we ask you to take a moment to help us continue our work. Even small donations, when all our members give, add up to a lot!
Thank you - for all you do for Purple Line NOW, for the project, and for our communities!