In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- We're Over Halfway to Our Goal -- Only TWO Weeks Left!
- Purple Line in the News
- Features & Highlights
- Lack of transportation can affect students finishing college
- Prince George’s County Homeownership Preservation Program
- Construction News
- Bethesda Metro Cost Increase
- $2 Million for Purple Line included in Transit Safety & Investment Act Bill
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT PLN?
We're Over Halfway There -- Just TWO Weeks Left to Have Your Donation Matched Dollar for Dollar!
We are working hard via a matching campaign to fund our work as we head into the new year. We are at a critical juncture and what we are able to do in the coming year depends on the funds we raise now.
Below, you can see a list of our AMAZING DONORS - loyal folks who have stepped up to help keep the engines rolling. If you do not see your name on the list, we hope you will consider a donation to help us meet the December 31 deadline to participate in the matching campaign.
From today until the end of the year, thanks to a very generous donor, every donation Purple Line NOW receives (from $25 up to $1,000 until the goal of $5,000 is reached) will be matched DOLLAR for DOLLAR! With just two weeks to go, we are tickled to be halfway to our goal, but that does means we still have a long way to go to take full advantage of our benefactor's offer.
So, how do you get in on this matching campaign? It is super simple! Just click the PURPLE button below which will take you to our donation page. Holler if you would like more information or run into any issues.
We are truly grateful that you continue to make our mission a priority for your giving dollars. Thank you to the terrific folks below and to all who are working in other capacities to make this project a reality. Please accept a heartfelt virtual hug from us -- we say it all the time, we simply could not do this without your support.
Chevy Chase Land Company
The Malloy and Sanders Family
Tina, Don, and Jessie Slater
Anne Ambler and John Fay
Brian and Bee Ditzler
Nancy and Rob Soreng
Christine Scott and JohnR Llewellyn
College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn
Bruce Adams, Charles Bell, Ralph Bennett, Glen Bottoms, Marney Bruce, Cathy Carr, John Carroll, Margaret Chasson, Jeff Cronin, Michael DeLong, David Eagles, Gary Fahle, Jose Galdamez, Peter Gray, Margaret and Tom Greene, Ginanne Italiano, Patricia Jackman, Kevin Kirby, Gerrit Knaap, Landmark Realty, Daniel Marcin, Mark Mesiti-Miller, Anita Morrison, David Murnan, Nathalie Peter, Tom Quinn, Gareth Rosenau, John Slettebak, William Strang, Carol Whitley
Tsedal Bahta, Philip Bogdonoff, Casey Brennan, Steve Brigham, Kris Colby, Robert, Devine, Elaine Emling, Joseph Fainberg, Nick Finio, Hugo Guzman, Judith Morenoff, Rodolfo Perez, Tom Pogue, Mark Posner, Annie Tulkin, Jerry Withers
We will use every donation to continue our newsletter, continue offering regular webinars, continue being a strong liaison to help connect you to people who can solve your issues, and continue our strong advocacy for the project in every way possible. If you would like to know more about who we are, why we are asking for donations, and what we do with your gift once it arrives on our doorstep, you can read all about it in our November newsletter.
Thank you for your consideration. We know it has been a tough year for a lot of people. If you can contribute at this time, please know how much we appreciate your generosity, and if you cannot, know that we will continue to bring you as much news and information as we can.
THE PURPLE LINE IN THE NEWS
Shaver, Katie. “Cost of Bethesda Metro Increases.” Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021
Gaskill, Hannah. “Legislature Prepares Overrides During Special Session.” Maryland Matters, 5 Dec. 2021
West, Charlotte. “Lack of Transportation Affects Students.” Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021
FEATURES & HIGHLIGHTS
Lack of transportation can affect students finishing college
In January 2019, Purple Line NOW hosted a forum in College Park to bring the community up-to-date on all the development happening as it pertains to the coming Purple Line in College Park.
During that forum (which you can catch here), one of our speakers, Brad Frome, an advisor to the Prince George’s County Executive, spoke eloquently about his belief that “accessibility to affordable transportation is a human right.” He said our communities and government owe its residents affordable transit to jobs and education and he believes that the Purple Line project reflects where the state of transportation is going in the future.
That sentiment includes college students, too, as this article recently pointed out. (West, Charlotte. “Lack of Transportation Affects Students.” Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021.)
The Purple Line will go a long way in helping students overcome this barrier with five of the 21 stations located directly on or around the UMD campus. Students, faculty and staff of the university will be able to ride the Purple Line for free among those five stations, as well.
Prince George’s County Homeownership Preservation Program
Prince George’s County Homeownership Preservation Program (PG HOPP) is a construction-based resource aimed at identifying and addressing critical health, safety, and accessibility related needs of the homes of income-qualifying homeowners in eligible areas of Prince George’s County. This program is sponsored by the Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development and is being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. If you are a homeowner in Prince George's County, check out their website to see if you might qualify.
Bethesda Metro Cost Increase
According to the Washington Post, “the estimated cost of building a connection for passengers to transfer between Metro’s Red Line Bethesda station and the future Purple Line stop nearby has grown by $22.6 million.” (Shaver, Katie. “Cost of Bethesda Metro Increases.” Washington Post, 10 Dec. 2021.) It appears Montgomery County may be able to fund about $5 million of that increase, but will be asking for state and federal funding to cover the remainder.
We asked Maricela Cordova, Purple Line Implementation Manager for Montgomery County, to help clarify the increase:
“It is common with large, complex programs to have elements of their budget that evolve, change and are finalized over time. Planners don’t always have all the information early in the process and it is typical to look for additional funding opportunities over time. When the original budget estimate was given to the County by the State and WMATA, it was based on a planning level estimate and with the limited information that was available to the State more than 6 years ago. At the time, the fiscal environment did not allow for any contingencies in the budget – that is why this is being brought up now. The County is anticipating needing this additional funding, however this amount is not final. We won’t know the exact project cost until WMATA designs and puts it out to bid. We are being proactive by making a funding request now so it is in place when needed. The new mezzanine will be designed and built above the Red Line inside the existing Metrorail Bethesda station by WMATA, as a separate element from the Purple Line.”
The Purple Line station is in the heart of downtown Bethesda and the second entrance to the Bethesda Metro's high-speed elevators has multiple benefits. Metro riders will be able to both transfer to the Purple Line station or directly access the shops and restaurants of Bethesda Row as well as the Capital Crescent Trail.
$2 Million for Purple Line included in Transit Safety & Investment Act Bill
On Tuesday, December 7, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly voted to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of legislation to provide a minimum capital funding level for the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) each year for five years and protect MTA’s operating funds from reductions during the same time period. Governor Hogan had cited a desire to retain flexibility in the budget in making the veto.
Senate Bill 199/House Bill 114, sponsored by Sens. McCray and Zucker (D-Baltimore City) and Del. Lierman (D-Baltimore City), would extend portions of the Maryland Metro/Transit Funding Act to increase operations and capital spending for MTA. Additionally, the bill would establish a $2 Million Purple Line Construction Zone Grant Program which would be administered through the Department of Commerce to assist small businesses. (Gaskill, Hannah. “Legislature Prepares Overrides During Special Session.” Maryland Matters, 5 Dec. 2021.)
Happy Holidays to the Hardworking Purple Line Crews!