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Purple Line NOW News - April 24, 2019

In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, you'll find a whole bevy of good information:

  • A warm welcome to Peter van der Waart van Gulik and our thanks to Fred Craig
  • A short glossary of all those confusing Purple Line-related acronyms
  • Upcoming Community Advisory Team dates
  • A heartfelt appeal from Purple Line NOW

Grab your coffee (or iced tea as this summery day may necessitate) and have a read!

Purple Line NOW Welcomes New CEO of Purple Line Transit Partners

Purple Line NOW extends a warm welcome to Peter van der Waart van Gulik, incoming Chief Executive Officer of the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) after his appointment was announced last week. Purple Line NOW works closely with the concessionaire (the private sector partner of the Maryland Transit Administration) to stay abreast of construction issues and to provide the public in-depth information whenever possible. We look forward to continuing our work with the new leadership of the project’s builder. Mr. van der Waart van Gulik brings nearly 30 years of industry experience with extensive background in public-private partnerships (P3s), both of which will serve the project well. We are also heartened to know that the new CEO has served on the PLTP Board of Directors for the past several years, so he will hit the ground running with a short learning curve.

Our organization also wants to take a moment to highlight the hard work of outgoing CEO, Fred Craig, whose dedication, candor, and management has laid a solid foundation for the project which included the completion of the tunnel excavation and the acceleration of construction following a year-long delay resulting from a frivolous lawsuit. Purple Line NOW is especially appreciative of Mr. Craig’s work to keep the public informed of project status in a forthright and clear manner.

Feel Free to Share

Please feel free to share this newsletter - no permission from us needed! You can always find a link to our newsletter on our website ( which makes it easy to share with your friends, neighbors, constituents, customers, and employees.



Who Are All These Groups and What Do They Do?

Confused by all the acronyms surrounding the Purple Line?! This week, we thought would share a short glossary of the some of the most frequently used acronyms and terms and how Purple Line NOW relates to each of them. We’ve even provided a hyperlink where possible so you can read more about the particular group. Fun fact: many of them start with the letter P!

1) CATs (Community Advisory Teams)

MTA has divided the 16-mile Purple Line corridor into eight areas, each represented by a Community Advisory Team (CAT). The MTA and Concessionaire have committed to maintaining open dialogue with the communities surrounding the Purple Line via CATs with the objective of building a long-term relationship through completion of the project. The CATs are member-driven teams with representatives appointed from neighborhood and civic associations adjacent to the alignment. There are also representatives from business associations and local governments. Purple Line NOW Board and Team members sit on many of these CATs and bring information back to our organization regarding issues and hurdles any particular community is experiencing. The CAT materials are one of the best sources for detailed information about current and near term construction plans.

 2) Concessionaire

The concessionaire is the entity responsible for designing, building, operating, and maintaining the Purple Line under the supervision of the owner, the state of Maryland. The term "concessionaire" is used because it is a public-private partnership between Maryland and a consortium of companies rather than a single lead vendor. The concessionaire for this project is Purple Line Transit Partners.

3) MTA (Maryland Transit Administration)

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is the lead agency, the Purple Line’s owner, and they work in close coordination with other transportation entities, governments, and parks and planning commissions. For the Purple Line, MTA works closely with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, the Maryland State Highway Administration, and local municipalities in the project area.

4) P3 (Public-Private Partnership)

A P3, in this case, is essentially a partnership between MTA and PLTP to build and operate the Purple Line. The main benefit to using a P3 model is the private capital and alignment of concessionaire incentives with reduced costs and better performance while giving more flexibility to efficiently build and operate the line.

Want to know more about P3s? Here’s a terrific article that does some great explaining: Greater Greater Washington.

5) PLCC (Purple Line Corridor Coalition)

The Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC), formed in 2013, is a multi-sector collaborative led and administered by the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) in partnership with a coalition of community organizations, state and local governments, nonprofits, philanthropies, and businesses. PLCC led the creation of the Community Development Agreement for the Purple Line Corridor which articulates a collective vision for vibrant economic and community development along the 16-mile corridor.

Purple Line NOW is a separate entity (we receive no funding from PLCC), but we work closely with them, along with many other organizations, to achieve the goals set out in the Agreement. Last year, Maryland received a $2 million federal grant to help work on some of the goals of the Agreement, especially in the area of economic development, accessibility to the Purple Line stations, and keeping housing affordable along the Purple Line Corridor. NCSG will administer the grant.

6) PLN (Purple Line NOW)

Since you are already receiving our newsletter, you probably know all about us, but just as a refresher, PLN was incorporated in 2002, though many on our team have worked on behalf of the Purple Line for a decade or two before that!

We are a coalition of business, labor, environment, neighborhood, and civic organizations that works with local, state, and federal government officials in pursuit of our mission to build the Purple Line. Our mission is ensure the completion of the light rail Purple Line from Bethesda to New Carrollton, integrated with a hiker/biker trail between Bethesda & Silver Spring. We have one quarter-time executive director, but operate mostly on the elbow grease of a large and dedicated team of volunteers. We are governed by a Board of Directors with balanced representation from the environmental, civic, business and labor support for the Purple Line. More about what we are up to now in the section below!

7) PLTP (Purple Line Transit Partners)

PLTP is led by three public-private partnership (P3) developers who will build, operate and maintain the Purple Line. The companies that fall under the Purple Line Transit Partners umbrella are Meridiam Infrastructure Purple Line, LLC (Meridiam), Fluor Enterprises Inc. (Fluor) and Star America Purple Line, LLC (Star America). The team will operate and maintain the Purple Line for 30 years after opening.

Have any questions about who handles what aspect of the design, construction, or maintenance of the line - or anything else Purple Line-related, for that matter? Just drop us an email and we'll find an answer for you!



Next Envisioning the Purple Line Forum

We are working on the next Purple Line NOW forum happening late spring/early summer 2019. The topic will be the trail and we are already lining up terrific speakers, so stayed tuned for the date announcement and official invitation SOON!

Upcoming CAT Meetings

  • Riverdale & Glenridge/New Carrollton – April 30, 2019, 6:30 – 8 PM
    Purple Line Project Office
    6811 Kenilworth Avenue (1st Floor Training Room)
    Riverdale, MD 20737



What Are We Doing With Your Sponsorship Dollars?

We hope you had a chance to consider a sponsorship to Purple Line NOW in last week’s blast. Here’s a cut-to-the-chase version of our need. We are grateful for your support!  

Need a reason to donate? Read on - we simply could not exist without you!

(A reminder: Purple Line NOW does not receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We operate solely on donations from individuals and businesses who care about the Purple Line and whose generosity allow us to continue our work.)

Purple Line NOW exists on a very skinny budget – we have only one quarter-time employee, we pay for upkeep and maintenance of our website, and we pay for the resources necessary to get information out to the community through our email blasts, literature, and supplies. We also cover any expenses associated with hosting our regular forums – the event is always free and open to the public (we don’t charge you to attend!)

  • Purple Line NOW News

With your support, Purple Line NOW publishes this bi-weekly, information-packed newsletter, with the latest in construction news, photos, and insider information to keep you on top of what is going on in the field. It’s a big undertaking and we appreciate your support in making it happen!

  • Envisioning the Purple Line Series

We continue the very popular Envisioning the Purple Line series of fora hosted in a variety of communities along the corridor in both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Last year, we held an update in Riverdale Park, focusing on specific construction and development going on in that neck of the woods, and this past January, we took the forum to College Park, where our panel of speakers focused their updates on the College Park corridor. Next, we’ll be heading back to Montgomery County for an update on the completion of the Capital Crescent Trail. Stay tuned for more details on that event soon.

  • Connecting People

Behind the scenes, Purple Line NOW has been a clearing house of sorts for calls from residents and businesses who are looking for answers to issues they are experiencing while the project is under construction. We don’t always have all the answers, but we do try to connect folks with the proper resources.

  • Sharing Information

Purple Line NOW board members have a long tradition of attending hearings, testifying on behalf of the project, being a part of Purple Line oriented neighborhood groups, and connecting to elected officials on behalf of line. Our board leadership continues to meet every single month, as they have done for over a decade, to share information gathered and exchange ideas on keeping the project on track. Purple Line NOW also is a strong supporter of other transit organizations and an active participant in the Purple Line Corridor Coalition. We attend meetings, provide updates, and take notes! Our members are very active on the Community Advisory Teams.

  • Maintaining a Presence

Finally, Purple Line NOW maintains a strong social media presence, staying connected to thousands via Facebook and Twitter via our website, Purple Line NOW.

We hope you will consider joining the sponsors already on board (you can see these awesome folks here) – and remember, with your donation, your name (or your business name) will be listed on our website and in event literature and signage for a year following your donation.

Get Connected!

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW.

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