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


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