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Purple Line NOW News - October 20, 2021

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

  • What's Happening at PLN?
  • Purple Line in the News
  • Features & Highlights
    • A Community Agenda Beyond the Tracks
    • Who Are All These Groups and What Do They Do?!
  • Construction News
    • A Quick Update on the Capital Crescent Trail/Tunnel
    • Photos Around the Purple Line Corridor

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What' Happening


Please Help Us Continue Our Work

Each year, we ask you to consider a donation to Purple Line NOW which helps us continue to offer events like our online webinars which are always free of charge to all participants, as well as this information-packed newsletter, along with answering many of your questions and staying on top of what is going on throughout our corridor as it relates to the project as a whole.

Purple Line NOW was fortunate enough to be the recipient of a generous matching donor last winter and you stepped up to help us during that campaign which has seen us through a difficult year. It will be time to ask anew in the fall, so we hope at that time, if you are able, you will consider supporting us with a financial donation.

We do not host special event fundraisers, nor do we receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We rely solely on support from donors like YOU!

Remember, with your donation, your name (or your business name) will be listed on our website, as well as in event literature and signage for a year following your donation.

As always, a great big thank you to ALL OF OUR DONORS! We simply could not do our work without your support. If you don't see your name on our website link, you can donate by clicking the purple button below.

Thank you, thank you! Especially after the year from which we are all slowly emerging, a great big THANK YOU!



PL in the News


New Purple Line contractor should be in place by February (K. Shaver, Washington Post, September 8, 2021)

Features and Highlights


A Community Agenda Beyond the Tracks

Tonight at 7 pm Prince George's County Council Member Dannielle Glaros and Council Vice-Chair Deni Tavaras are joining the Purple Line Corridor Coalition for an online update and a discussion of "A Community Agenda Beyond the Tracks.” If you would like to join the event, please click the link.

Who Are All These Groups and What Do They Do?

Confused by all the acronyms surrounding the Purple Line?! We’ve updated the list we published a few years ago (things have changed a bit!) and thought we would reshare this short glossary of some of the most frequently used acronyms and terms and how Purple Line NOW relates to each of them. 

1) 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 work with local, state, and federal government officials in pursuit of our mission to build the Purple Line. Our mission is to ensure the completion of the 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 each county along the corridor.

2) 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 MDOT MTA has 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 a particular community might be experiencing. In the past two years, MDOT MTA has scheduled these meetings in the spring and fall, and in light of the pandemic, over the past year, has hosted them online. Materials, questions, and answers, from each meeting are usually available online and Purple Line NOW News tries to publish the highlights from each meeting in its biweekly newsletter.

3) MDOT MTA & the Purple Line Team

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. If you have concerns or questions, you can email them directly at [email protected].

4) P3 (Public-Private Partnership)

In this case, a P3 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.

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. 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. Two years ago, 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) PLTP (Purple Line Transit Partners)

PLTP is a public-private partnership (P3) who will build, operate and maintain the Purple Line. The team will operate and maintain the Purple Line for 30 years after opening. The entity is 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.

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 ([email protected]) and we'll find an answer for you!

Construction Updates


Update on the Capital Crescent Trail & Tunnel

The Montgomery County Planning Board met on October 14 and in its last hour addressed the plan to complete the Capital Crescent Trail. Work has been ongoing with the surface connection of the trail, which crosses Wisconsin Avenue at Bethesda Avenue and Willow Lane as shown below. The next phase would run parallel with 47th street bordering Elm Street Park. The surface trail proposal follows complete street proposals reducing the width of the roads while allowing for truck and emergency vehicle turning.

The proposed Capital Crescent Tunnel is still unfunded, and the proposal involves two phases, although they could be condensed into a single-phase to avoid the need to redo Elm Street Park twice. The tunnel would be 16 feet wide, with an effective width of 12 feet, and 12 feet tall with an Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant 4.9 percent grade. This proposal would also involve the first bicycle parking garage for Maryland transit stations under 7272 Wisconsin Avenue. The Planning Board would not be the funding provider (Purple Line NOW has separately written in support of working with Maryland to identify possible additional funding sources), but they did approve the recommended plan.

Agenda (Item 11)


Photos from Around the Corridor

Crews continue to work hard throughout the corridor. Thanks to MDOT MTA for the photos.



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