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Purple Line NOW News - November 15, 2023

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

  • What's Happening at PLN?
    • Your Donation Will Be DOUBLED!
    • A Message from PLN Board President, Ralph Bennett
  • Happening Along the Purple Line Corridor
    • Talbot Avenue Bridge Lantern Walk
    • Beyond the Rails Grant Opportunity
  • Construction Updates and Project Features
    • Highlights from the Fall Community Advisory Team Meetings

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What' Happening


A Matching Gift to Purple Line NOW Makes Our Mission Go Farther!

As we embark on our annual fall campaign, we have some exciting news to share. An anonymous donor has once again offered to match each and every donation to Purple Line NOW beginning today through the end of the year or until we reach our goal of $6,000! That means, no matter the size of your donation, your support will have double the impact. We are so grateful!

Many of you know us well and have been thoughtful and generous donors throughout our journey toward riding the Purple Line. We have also had lots of new folks join us as construction has ramped up and visual signs of progress abound. We hope you will consider supporting us financially during this fall campaign and we would like to share a few words from our Board President, Ralph Bennett, about why we are asking and why it is so critical that Purple Line NOW continues our work.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to you to highlight our low bank balance and the urgent need to raise funds to continue our important work. As you know, Purple Line NOW rarely holds special event fundraising, instead we rely on our donors and supporters to come through for us to assist when our financial needs outweigh our revenue.

At our recent quarterly board meeting, our Treasurer reported that our current bank balance is dangerously low and that we are at risk of being unable to continue working with the public to broaden our advocacy efforts and achieve our goals. We cannot afford to let this happen.

That is why I am asking for your help. Every donation, no matter the size, will help us continue our outreach to the community via our widely read bi-weekly newsletter, advocate for issues facing the Purple Line and beyond at the local, state, and federal levels, and continue hosting the very popular community webinars on a regular basis where we bring experts and industry leaders together to discuss all things Purple Line along the corridor.

If you or your organization have not donated in the past year, I ask you to consider a donation to Purple Line NOW at this time. All donors are listed on our website for a year following their donation. A very generous anonymous donor has offered to match all donations during this campaign, beginning today through the end of the year, or until our goal of $6,000 is reached, so your help will count twice as much this holiday season!

Your support will make a real difference in our efforts to close the significant gap in our budget and ensure our work continues until opening day of service.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Ralph Bennett, President
Purple Line NOW

Thank you from all of us here at Purple Line NOW!


Features and Highlights


Talbot Avenue Lantern Walk

The annual Talbot Avenue Bridge Lantern Walk was held this past week, on Saturday evening, November 11, at dusk. Thanks to Webb Smedley for some snaps of the event!

From their website: "The Lantern Walk began in 2018 as a way to weave together neighborhoods once divided by racial segregation. Lyttonsville, a historically African American community founded in 1853, and North Woodside, where racist deed covenants once prohibited Black people from living in the neighborhood except as domestic servants, were connected by the historic Talbot Avenue Bridge for over a century until its demolition in 2019 to make way for the Purple Line.  For more information about the Talbot Avenue Bridge, see two short documentary films: Talbot Avenue Bridge: The Historical Connection (by Brigitte Ayerves Valderas) and  The Bridge (by Jay Mallin)."

Even though the bridge remains an active construction site, participants were allowed to cross the new bridge during the event.

Beyond the Rails Grant Opportunity

The Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) has funded a grant program that will support organizations dedicated to improving our communities. Grants will range from $1,000 to $3,000 per year and will be awarded in the following categories:

  • Community – Projects that support the overall wellbeing of adjacent communities (e.g., environment, health, recreation, education, economic opportunity, etc.). Potential example: Tot-lot equipment for a pre-school.
  • Environment – Projects that enhance or protect the natural environment. Potential example: A local tree-planting initiatives.

If you know of an organization or group that might meet the criteria above, please share this information -- the deadline for application is November 30. Details on how to apply can be found on their website.

Construction Updates


Highlights from the Fall Community Advisory Team Meetings

The final two fall Community Advisory Teams (CATs) meetings were held virtually earlier this month -- Glenridge (which includes the Glenridge and New Carrollton stations) and Riverdale Park (which includes Riverdale Park/Kenilworth Avenue and Beacon Heights/East Pines stations).

We encourage you to visit the website to view your respective CAT meeting presentation. Many thanks to the MDOT MTA staff for turning these presentations around so quickly for your viewing. Some of the meetings even included new station renderings, so be sure to take a peek!

We are reprinting the general highlights from the collective CAT meetings below, but be sure to check out the presentation for the stations closest to you:

It is SO exciting, after all these months, to see so much activity along the alignment! Presently, there are 60 active construction sites with over 1,100 workers bringing the project to life. Want to see the progress in photos?! Here’s a terrific video that captures the sensational work being done throughout the alignment.

The project is now 58% complete – we are over half way there! Underground utility relocations (one of the largest utility relocation projects in the country!) are nearly complete at 98%. Over half of the overhead catenary pole foundations along the alignment have been install and -- some really exciting news -- the first station canopies have been installed at Riverdale Park North-UMD. Viewing those gives us our first true taste of how these stations are going to look when finished!

As far as the Light Rail Vehicles (LRVs) go, 26 out of the 28 are complete and ready for delivery to Maryland!

Other highlights, each of which deserves its own exclamation point (!!), include:

• The Bethesda excavation for the elevator has reached the bottom of the shaft!
• The Talbot Avenue bridge has concrete placed and the road will open this year!
• Nearly 1,500 linear feet of track has been laid on the University of Maryland campus!
• The Glenridge Operations and Maintenance facility is now fully operational!

The test track will be complete in the summer of 2025 before we begin a nearly year-long testing period, and finally passenger service is slated to begin in spring of 2027, fingers crossed.

Seeing all of the activity and progress happening above ground is a great way to kick off the holiday season!

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