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Purple Line NOW News - March 29, 2023

In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:

  • What's Happening at PLN?
    • Are You a Purple Line NOW Donor?
  • Happening Along the Purple Line Corridor
    • Community Advisory Team Meetings
    • Purple Line NOW Testimony to Montgomery County Planning Board
  • Construction Updates and Project Features
    • Montgomery County Transportation & Environment Briefing on the Purple Line
    • Photos From Around the Corridor

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What' Happening


Are You a Purple Line NOW Donor?

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Features and Highlights


Community Advisory Team Meetings

In late winter, the Community Advisory Team meetings were held and those presentations can be viewed online. Some of the questions and answers for those meetings have recently been posted, as well, for their respective stations:

Bethesda Chevy Chase Station

Silver Spring (includes SS Transit Center, SS Library, and Dale Drive Stations)

Long Branch (includes Manchester Place, Long Branch and Piney Branch Road Stations)

University Boulevard (includes Takoma/Langley Transit Center and Riggs Road Stations)

College Park (includes Adelphi Rd.-UMGC-UMD, Campus Drive UMD, Balt. Ave-College Park-UMD, College Park Metro, and Riverdale North-UMD stations)

Riverdale Park (includes Riverdale Park/Kenilworth Ave. and Beacon Heights/East Pines stations)

Glenridge (includes Glenridge and New Carrollton Metro stations)

We will post the links for the remaining CAT Q&As when they are available.

Purple Line NOW Testimony to Montgomery County Planning Board

Purple Line NOW gave oral and written testimony earlier this month to Montgomery County Planning Board at the Pedestrian Master Plan Public Hearing. You can read our testimony here.

Construction Updates


Montgomery County Transportation & Environment Briefing on the Purple Line

On March 20, 2023, the three members of the Montgomery County Council Transportation & Environment Committee (Councilmembers Evan Glass, Marilyn Balcombe, and Kate Stewart) were briefed on the status of the project by members of the Purple Line team, Hugo Fontirroig, Deputy Project Director for Maryland Transit Solutions, Doran Bosso, Chief Executive Officer for PLTP, and Matthew Pollack, Purple Line Executive Director, Maryland Transit Administration.

You can watch the entire presentation here:

Mr. Pollack gave a brief overview of the status of the project, noting the benefits of east/west transit across two counties that the project will provide, “giving us transit development as well as economic development.”

Construction began ramping up last fall, and now, as of January 2023, everywhere along the alignment.

The timeline, for now, remains the same, with passenger service scheduled to begin late 2026, though there are still issues that could impact the schedule. They have formed a “Tiger Team” of experts who have been meeting since last October to look at any mitigating issues and work through issues as they arise. Mr. Pollack did say however, that there are no guarantees at this point that revenue service will not be “pushed out into the future.”

Twenty-six of the 28 vehicles are already built and ready to ship. They are scheduled for delivery fall 2023, but will likely arrive in early 2024.

The test track will need to be in place before their delivery -- the track will be a slightly less than one mile stretch along Veteran’s Highway which will feed into storage tracks and will not cross over any roads. After their delivery, both vehicle testing and operator testing will need to take place which will take a little over a year, at which time, the hope is to have all of the tracks laid, end-to-end, so that real time testing can begin soon after.

The cars will be the largest single-rail vehicles in the country when they are put into service, and each will hold a total capacity of 400 with 80 seats, and have flexible space with folding seats for bicycles and wheelchairs, along with low floors and wide doorways.

While they are being stored in Elmira, New York, they are getting “exercised” regularly as well as maintained.

The team then turned their attention to giving various updates for specific stations along the corridor, noting that construction is now visible from nearly every position on the route. Updates were given for the Bethesda station, the Connecticut Avenue station, Talbot Avenue, Silver Spring and Library stations, Georgia Avenue and Bonifant streets, Wayne Avenue, Sligo Creek Trail, and Plymouth Tunnel.

The Councilmembers each asked a series of questions, with Chair Glass thanking the committee for their dedication to listening to the community and committing resources where issues arise. He was especially appreciative of the attention to pedestrian safety.

Councilmember Stewart noted the dangerous road conditions along University Boulevard near Campus and asked the team to take a second look at ways to make the roads there safer during construction.

Councilmember Balcombe asked for more signage and way-making help.

Photos From Around the Corridor

Talbot Avenue Bridge
Photo credit: Barbara Sanders and Donna Nelson

Talbot Avenue Bridge
Photo credit: Barbara Sanders and Donna Nelson

Photo Courtesy: MDOT MTA

Photo Courtesy: MDOT MTA
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