On Thursday, members of the Board of Public Works (Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy Kopp, and State Comptroller Peter Franchot) voted unanimously to approve the $5.6 billion contract. The Governor cited the line's role as an economic catalyst and Comptroller Franchot revealed that one of the reasons he supports the line is that it is one way to "tackle inequality as it connects communities with jobs," citing as an example the challenge of commuting by bus from Langley Park to Bethesda.
"This is an exciting day as the project has cleared another hurdle and had its financial bonafides verified. The hearing itself also was a valuable opportunity for both the Board of Public Works members and the Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Transit Administration representatives to explain the benefits of the project and to address the concerns of its critics," says Purple Line NOW's Vice President Greg Sanders who was at the State House in Annapolis for the decision this morning.
What does this mean and where do we go from here?
The next step will see Maryland's Department of Transportation working to finalize the full funding grant agreement with the Federal Transportation Administration (FTA). In doing so, the project will then be able to break ground later this year! It is expected the first riders will board the Purple Line in Spring of 2022. More information about next steps can be found in Martin Di Caro's report: Maryland Wraps Up State-Level Approval Process For Purple Line.
Finally, Purple Line NOW wants to thank all parties that had a part in marking this important milestone: from Governor Hogan, his Secretary of Transportation, Pete Rahn, BPW members Nancy Kopp and Peter Franchot, to our terrific Prince George's and Montgomery County Executives, State and Federal Delegations, and County Councils, the newly named concessionaire Purple Line Transit Partners, our devoted and active Purple Line NOW Board and Team, and all of the hundreds of transit advocates who have worked so hard over the past 30 years to get us to this point.
Now, on to closing the contract and the FTA!
P.S. We hope you have already signed up for our April 21 forum entitled "Understanding the Public Private Partnership" at which Secretary Rahn will be keynoting! We are almost at capacity (there is limited space), so if you have not yet reserved your seat, please take a moment to do so.
Purple Line NOW