There's a reason that cancelling shovel ready projects like the Purple Line is unprecedented in Maryland history. It throws aways billions of investment in the state's economy while only freeing up a portion of the cost (under 23% and a large chunk of that is county money). That investment is predicted to create 27,000 new permanent jobs, bring 90,000 people w/in a half mile of the transit for the first time, and boost annual incomes by $2.2 billion. (http://t4america.org/2015/05/06/the-red-purple-transit-lines-in-maryland-would-position-maryland-for-long-term-economic-success/)
While the deadline for an answer was pushed back until June, both County Executives sounded hopeful emerging from the meeting today.
Leggett said the governor listened intently to the arguments for the Purple Line, but didn’t indicate if what he was hearing had swayed him.
Baker says he understands that the Purple Line is competing with roads when it comes to infrastructure investments. Baker said his own constituents are concerned about the conditions of roads such as Route 210/Indian Head Highway.
Baker explained that he understands concerns about the conditions of roads and bridges.
“We had a bridge collapse in Beltsville, so we get that,” he said.
But Baker says the connectivity that the Purple Line offers in terms of tying business centers together, and spurring growth, make the expense worth it in the long run.
“When you weigh all the factors, the Purple Line makes sense,” Baker said."
See more about the meeting at: WTOP.COM
Martin Di Caro wrote up the protest on Monday and talked to county leaders prior to their meeting with Gov. Hogan on Thursday. See more at: WAMU.org