In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- A Great BIG Thank You to YOU!
- Purple Line in the News
- Features & Highlights
- Board of Public Works -- New Builder Contract
- Maryland General Assembly
- Community Advisory Teams
- Construction News
- New Builder Contract Slates Purple Line to Open Fall 2026
- Photos from Around the Corridor
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT PLN?
Appreciative – Thankful – Grateful
We wish we could think of more words to convey how appreciative we are for your financial support over the past few months (and for many of you, years!) as we embarked on and completed a successful matching campaign. Even now, after the campaign has ended, we continue to receive donations from you, our supporters. Thank you, thank you, thank you --
--for allowing us to continue our work advocating for the project!
--for helping us maintain our role as an answer-getter for all of your questions!
--And, most importantly, for helping us bring important project information to our community and beyond!
We are GRATEFUL.
To the anonymous donor who matched every single donation we received from the start of the campaign until the end of the year -- your kindness in helping us garner more financial support in a tough year is beyond generous.
We use every donation we receive 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.
(Although the matching campaign has ended, we are grateful for every donation we receive, so if you didn't have a chance to donate before the end of the year and would like to do so now, just click the purple button below. Unless you tell us otherwise, your name will be listed on our website and in publications for a year following your donation.)
Thank you to the following donors who have given to Purple Line NOW over the past twelve months – it is because of their financial support that we continue our work with an eye on that first train leaving the station in just a few years!
The 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
Dr. Kawsar Talaat and Dr. Troy Jacobs
College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn
Bruce Adams, Charles Bell, Ralph Bennett, Glen Bottoms, Marney Bruce, Cathy Carr, John Carroll, Margaret Chasson, Michael DeLong, Sean Dobson, David Eagles, Gary Fahle, Jose Galdamez, Peter Gray, Margaret and Tom Greene, Ginanne Italiano, Kevin Kirby, Landmark Realty, Daniel Marcin, Mark Mesiti-Miller, Anita Morrison, David Murnan, Nathalie Peter, Tom Quinn, Andy Slettebak, William Strang, Ralph Watkins, Carol Whitley
Tsedal Bahta, Philip Bogdonoff, Casey Brennan, Steve Brigham, Kris Colby, Robert Devine, Patrick Dougherty, Elaine Emling, Joseph Fainberg, Nick Finio, Hugo Guzman, Patricia Jackman, Alan Lauer, Judith Morenoff, Rodolfo Perez, Tom Pogue, Mark Posner, Martin Posthumus, Annie Tulkin, Jerry Withers, Linda Zebooker, Marla Zipin
THE PURPLE LINE IN THE NEWS
Shaver, Katherine. “Purple Line Will Open Late.” Washington Post, 12 January 2021.
FEATURES & HIGHLIGHTS
Board of Public Works
The contract for the new builder will go to the Board of Public Works at the January 26 meeting for approval by Maryland’s governor, treasurer, and comptroller. Stay tuned!
Maryland General Assembly
Just a note that Maryland General Assembly has opened for the season. Purple Line NOW is tracking Purple Line relevant bills such as the SAFE Roads Act and the like. We'll send out related information and action alerts as they arise.
2022 Community Advisory Teams
We do not have the dates for the 2022 Community Advisory Teams (CATs) yet, but understand they will be happening sometime later this year after the new builder is on board. As soon as we know, we'll publish those dates in this newsletter.
New Builder Contract Slates Purple Line to Open Fall 2026
As you may have read in our Breaking News blast last week, we have a tentative opening date for the project, now that new builder has been selected, Maryland Transit Solutions, made up of the U.S. subsidiaries Dragados USA, Inc. (Dragados) and OHLA Group, Inc. (OHLA).
Maryland announced the new schedule -- opening day is to come in late 2026. (Shaver, K. “Purple Line Will Open Late.” Washington Post, 12 January 2021.) The new opening timeframe would be the date in which the entire line is set to open. As part of the competitive process for attracting a new builder, Maryland moved away from the plan to open the project in stages.
The cost of construction increases by $1.4 billion, bringing the total cost, including 30 years of operations, from $5.6 to $9.3 billion. The new contract will go to the Board of Public Works at the January 26 meeting for approval by Maryland’s governor, treasurer, and comptroller.
In the State’s transportation road show late last fall, Secretary Slater reported that pandemic disruptions, including material costs and supply chain challenges, as well as labor pool shortages have contributed to both cost and time increases.
You’ll remember that Maryland used the downtime while searching for a new builder to take over the 150 contracts and has made significant progress, according to the State’s year end compilation, utility relocations are now 66 percent complete and design is 95 percent complete. As we said in the press release, “A frivolous lawsuit cost the state precious time and by directly causing nearly a year of delay, managed to seed conflict and cost Maryland leverage in the original agreement. Vitally, the last of the suits have been dismissed and the higher courts have been consistent in finding them without merit.”
As part of this new contract, Maryland is buying additional light rail trains. This was always planned, but with huge progress completed on the initial set of light rail cars, this was an opportunity to reduce headways at rush hour from the initial time of 7.5 minutes. This is one of the most important factors for the quality of transit and a practical demonstration that Maryland was looking for best value when bringing on a new builder.
It will have been some 40 years from the initial idea of a trolley on the Georgetown Branch to the complete on the Purple Line, and it could have been completed much more cheaply without a series of unnecessary delays. However, what matters now is ending the disruption and gaining the benefits of the line, and that end is now in sight!
Photos from Around the Corridor
The first two photos come to us from reader Gary Fahle who shot the photos from the west side of the future Sleaford Road Overpass. If you'd like to submit your Purple Line photos, send them to cscott@purplelinenowcom.
The following photos are courtesy of MDOT MTA: