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Purple Line NOW News - March 6 2024

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

  • What's Happening at PLN?
    • Purple Line NOW Awarded Beyond the Rails Grant!
    • Thank You for Your Continuing Support!
  • Happening Along the Purple Line Corridor
    • From Our Friends at Purple Line Corridor Coalition
  • Construction Updates and Project Features
    • Important: Purple Line Project Update

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What' Happening


Purple Line NOW Awarded Beyond the Rails Grant!

Purple Line NOW was delighted to learn that our popular Envisioning the Purple Line Forum series has been chosen to receive a grant from the concessionaire, Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP)!

In a press release issued on January 31, 2024, the concessionaire explained what motivated them to launch this grant program which will help organizations like ours provide valuable services to the greater Purple Line community, “As a long-time member of the community itself, PLTP sponsors the Beyond the Rails community grant program as a way to give back to communities in which PLTP, in partnership with MDOT MTA, is building the Purple Line and through which it will operate the system for 30 years after opening.”

From left, John Undeland (PLTP), Ralph Bennett, PLN President, Tina Slater, PLN Treasurer, Barbara Sanders, PLN Executive Committee Member. Photo Credit: Donna Nelson

We are honored to be in the company of five other outstanding programs awarded in this inaugural round of grants, all providing valuable services and education to our community! Doran Bosso, PLTP Chief Executive Officer, remarked, “We’re excited to provide financial backing to these six remarkable groups, which work tirelessly to make our local communities better places to live, work and play. Choosing these awardees from the numerous worthy applications we received was not an easy task.”

Purple Line NOW is thrilled to have the opportunity to continue our Envisioning the Purple Line series this year and have already started preparations for the next event, so watch this space!

Thank You for Your Continuing Support!

Our need is ongoing - we operate on a budget between $20,000 and $25,000 each year, so please know that your donation in any amount is welcome and necessary for us to continue our work. You can easily donate by clicking the Purple "Donate" button below. Not sure if you've given in the past twelve months? Check our website to see if your name is listed. Thank you from all of us here at Purple Line NOW!


Features and Highlights


From Our Friends at Purple Line Corridor Coalition

Two items in the Purple Line Corridor Coalition's 2023 End of Year Report caught our eye:

Prince George’s County Pursues Safe Streets for All

The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded Prince George’s County a $21.3 million Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant earlier this year. The SS4A grant funds the Vision Zero Prince George’s “Proud to Pave the Way for Multimodal Safety: Improvements Along the Prince George’s County, MD, High Injury Network” program. This program includes seven safety projects that will help redesign roads to improve visibility, slow vehicle speeds, and promote pedestrian and bicyclist safety in underserved communities. Of those seven, five projects will improve safety along the Purple Line corridor. This is an important step in advancing PLCC’s vibrant communities goal, as it will provide enhanced mobility and accessibility through safer multimodal options and connections for pedestrians, cyclists and all users to travel to and around high traffic Purple Line stations. PLCC looks forward to working with partners to ensure pedestrian and bicycle safety are an integral part of the larger equitable development agenda for the Purple Line corridor.

Montgomery Planning - Strengthening the Pedestrian Experience

The Pedestrian Master Plan, approved this year, is Montgomery Planning’s first comprehensive vision to create safer, more comfortable experiences walking or rolling around the county, and to make getting around more convenient and accessible for every pedestrian. The Pedestrian Master Plan provides detailed, actionable recommendations in line with national and international best practices to improve the pedestrian experience, from more and better places to cross the street to a data driven, equity-focused approach for the county’s future pedestrian/bicycle capital investments. From the beginning of the planning process, the project team has had the Purple Line in mind, working on a Purple Line Connectivity Report to support improved last-mile station connections, and coordinating closely with the PLCC on data collection and analysis. The Pedestrian Master Plan provides an important, long-term foundation for improvements to the safety and efficiency of the pedestrian experience along the Purple Line and beyond.

Construction Updates


Important: Purple Line Project Update

Late last week, officials with the project announced that they will be seeking "approval next month for as much as $425 million in 'relief payments' related to delays in the Purple Line light rail project." According to Maryland Matters, "officials announced the extra payments along with a roughly 234-day delay that will push the line’s completion back from spring of 2027 to December of that year."

Holly Arnold, Administrator of the Maryland Transit Administration, said the money "represents the final payment related to delays in utility work. That work was taken over by the agency in 2020 as the original contractor began to exit from the project, which will connect New Carrollton to Bethesda when it’s completed." Arnold continued, “We made the choice at that time: Let’s keep everything going with this. It’s an important project. We need to keep advancing it. We don’t want to let the community sit with it half finished and suffer for two years. And so doing that we did take on a lot of utility work. Which is a risky part of any project." (Sears, B. "Cost of Purple line increases yet again." Maryland Matters, 1 March 2024.)

Purple Line NOW Vice President Greg Sanders added that this highlights the importance of legislative oversight efforts like the bimonthly project reports and the TRAIN commission which is seeking to address both the revenue and costs sides of Maryland transportation. "Delivering the Purple Line in a timely manner is vital, as is learning and building state government capacity to maintain transit projects and to manage future construction projects like the Baltimore Red Line," he added.

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