We hope everyone has had a safe and productive start to the fall season!
In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- The First Tracks Are Installed!
- Our Fall Appeal is Here - Please Consider Helping Purple Line NOW Continue Its Work
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CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW
The First Tracks Are Installed!
On September 5, Governor Larry Hogan and the Purple Line team celebrated the laying of the very first tracks of the 16.2-mile Purple Line light rail near the project terminus in New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. State and transit officials celebrated the milestone with Purple Line construction workers.
During the ceremony, Maryland Secretary of Transportation, Pete Rahn also raised an intriguing possibility regarding when we would be able to ride the Purple Line. The opening day of the project is presently being negotiated, as Governor Hogan explained, “unfortunately, we had some delays by the anti-transit opponents, who tied it up in court for more than a year. So we’re trying to make up for lost time.”
(Left to Right): PLTP CEO Peter van der Waart, MD Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn, Governor Larry Hogan, Chuck Lattuca, Executive Director, Transit Development and Delivery at MDOT MTA, and Kevin Quinn, Administrator MDOT MTA.
The concessionaire has estimated a spring 2023 opening, but negotiations with the state are ongoing, so we do not have an official date. However, there is a possibility that even if the full opening slips to 2023, we may have a chance to ride in 2022. As Secretary Rahn announced, “[w]e are aiming to get a section of the track done and operational in 2022, and the second section up and running by 2023."
No details were reported on which section, but in the past, we've heard that access to the rail yard is critical for early operations, one more reason to pay close attention to positive developments like the track laying at Glenridge!
Here's a good article from WAMU for further reading: 'Real Progress' On Purple Line As First Tracks Go Down
PURPLE LINE NOW ACTION
Can You Help Purple Line NOW Continue Its Work?
Last week, we sent out a formal appeal to our entire constituency. If you haven't already given this year, would you consider a donation to Purple Line NOW? We have reprinted the appeal here as it contains all the bits you might want to know about what we do with your donations - those dollars work hard!
As we reported earlier this year, we here at Purple Line NOW have shifted our energy from our prior focus of advocating for funding and approval of the project to the daunting task of keeping communities along the Purple Line corridor up-to-speed regarding breaking news, construction woes, and exciting new developments being built around the new line.
Purple Line NOW operates on a very small budget and, as you know, we don’t hold special event fundraisers. Instead, we rely on an email outreach to our most dedicated supporters to help us meet our bottom line each year during our fall appeal campaign.
To that end, we ask for your financial support so that we may continue our work. Donating is easy via our secure link or by sending a check through the mail – all the information to do so can be found on our website.
Below, you will read what it is we do each year with your generous donations. As always, we are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Just shoot us an email or give us a ring.
A reminder: Purple Line NOW does not receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We operate solely on donations from individuals and businesses like you who care about the Purple Line and whose generosity allow us to continue our work each year.
How Will Purple Line NOW Use My Donation?
As we said, Purple Line NOW exists on a very slender budget. Our work is done by a dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers, as well as one quarter-time employee. We pay for our website maintenance and for the resources needed to reach the community through email blasts, literature, and supplies. We also cover any expenses associated with hosting our popular educational forums – as you know, these events are always free and open to the public (we don’t charge you to attend!)
Purple Line NOW News
With your support, Purple Line NOW has published a bi-weekly, information-packed newsletter with the latest in construction news, photos, and insider information to keep you on top of what is going on in the field. We have a large following and we are often surprised that readers come from all over the country, from Baltimore to California! Thanks to the many volunteer contributors who help us write and release the newsletter every other week. It’s a big undertaking and we appreciate your support in making it happen! Did you know you can view all of our previous newsletters on our website?!
Envisioning the Purple Line Series
We continue the very popular Envisioning the Purple Line series of forums hosted in a variety of communities along the corridor in both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Just last month, we held an update in Chevy Chase, focused on Completing the Capital Crescent Trail where we brought in the CEO of the Purple Line Transit Partners (the builders), Montgomery County councilmembers, bicycle and trail advocates, and others to offer lots of information to the 70+ folks who attended. We try to do at least two events each year around the Purple Line Corridor. Previous events have been held in Silver Spring, Bethesda, Riverdale Park, University of Maryland, College Park, and more. We are currently working hard on organizing the next forum, so stay tuned!
Behind the scenes, Purple Line NOW serves as an unofficial clearing house of sorts for calls from residents and businesses who are looking for answers to issues they are experiencing while the project is under construction. We don’t always have all the answers, but we do try to connect folks with the proper resources.
Purple Line NOW board members have a long tradition of attending hearings, testifying on behalf of the project, being a part of Purple Line-oriented neighborhood groups, and connecting to elected officials on behalf of the Line. Our volunteer board leadership continues to meet every single month in person, as they have done for over a decade, to share information gathered and exchange ideas to keep the project on track. We attend meetings, provide updates, and take notes! Many of our members stay on top of transit news through their membership and support of other local and regional transit organizations and many are also very active on the neighborhood Community Advisory Teams.
Maintaining a Presence
Finally, Purple Line NOW maintains a strong social media presence, staying connected to thousands via Facebook and Twitter and through our website, Purple Line NOW. If you haven’t signed up for those, do so today. You’ll get the latest news and be able to participate in discussions happening on those platforms.
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.
We are grateful for your consideration of our request and for your support, financial and otherwise. We wish you a happy and healthy fall season.