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Purple Line NOW News - September 21, 2022

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

  • What's Happening at PLN?
    • Questions for Forum Due by Noon TODAY!
    • Last Chance to Register for Purple Line NOW Forum!
    • Please Help Us Continue Our Work
  • Purple Line in the News
  • Construction News
    • Montgomery County Council Briefing Highlights

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Please feel free to share this newsletter - no permission from us needed! You can always find a link to our newsletter on our Purple Line NOW website which makes it easy to share with your friends, neighbors, constituents, customers, and employees.

What' Happening


Questions for Forum Due by Noon Today

Do you have a last minute burning question for our presenters tomorrow night? Don't forget to send in your questions for our presenters by NOON today. Many of you have already sent in questions -- rest assured, if we don't get to all of the questions in the time allotted, we will publish those answers in a future newsletter.

You can email questions to: Christine Scott, PLN Executive Director, [email protected], but hurry!

Last Chance to Register for Purple Line NOW Forum!

We have a terrific slate of speakers for the Purple Line NOW forum THIS Thursday, September 22 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (via Zoom)!

• Ray Biggs II, Project Director for Purple Line, MDOT MTA
• Anita Rodgers, Anita Rodgers, Deputy Project Director for Purple Line, MDOT MTA
• Doran Bosso, CEO, Purple Line Transit Partners LLC
• Terry Gohde, Project Manager, Maryland Transit Solutions
• Hugo Fontirroig, Deputy Project Manager, Maryland Transit Solutions

If you haven't registered yet, this is your last chance to do so! Click on the green button below which will take you to the registration page. The forum is free and open to the public and press, but you must register in advance!

Event Sponsorship: If you would like to sponsor the event, please let us know. We publish all our donors and sponsors at every forum – we can’t do this without you. Thanks in advance for your consideration!

Please Help Us Continue Our Work

As you can see from our exciting announcement above, our work continues! To that end, as we enter our fundraising season, we hope you will take a moment to consider a donation to Purple Line NOW to help us continue offering these educational events, producing this newsletter, keeping on top of breaking news, and helping you get answers to questions or concerns that pop up as construction resumes to full speed. Donating online is easy – just click the PURPLE button below! 

We are proud to be supported by our donors and use every opportunity we can to let the community know how much we appreciate you. Unless you tell us otherwise, your name (or company name) will be listed on our website for a year following your donation, highlighted at our virtual and in person public events, and in printed materials where possible.

Not sure whether you’ve given in the past 12 months? You can check out our donor page – if you don’t see your name, we would be grateful if you would consider renewing your donation for the coming year. If you do see your name, but would like to know when your year is up, shoot us an email at [email protected] and we can tell you when your year’s donation is ending.

We exist because we are led by a group of dedicated volunteer board and team members, many who have been working on behalf of seeing this transit line come to life for many decades! We have a part time executive director (that’s me!) We operate solely on donations from folks like you.

Our books are always open – if you would like to see our most recent financial reports or how we use your donations to further our mission, send us an email or give us a call and we will be happy to share. Our treasurer gets nervous when we get below $3,000 in the bank and we are approaching that point just in time for our fundraising season.

Thank you in advance for your consideration!

Christine Scott, Executive Director

PL in the News


DePuyt, B. "After two years in low gear, work resumes." Maryland Matters, 12 September 2022.

Construction Updates


Montgomery County Council Purple Line Briefing

The briefing was held a week ago, September 13, 2022. You can catch the full briefing video here or download the briefing report:

Briefing the Council was Matt Pollack, Executive Director of Transit & Delivery for MDOT MTA, Doran Bosso, CEO of Purple Line Transit Partners, Terry Gohde, Project Manager, Maryland Transit Solutions, and Hugo Fontirroig, Deputy Project Manager, Maryland Transit Solutions.

The team confirmed the opening of revenue service for the Purple Line will be Fall 2026, four years behind the original schedule. A fare structure has not yet been decided.

Mr. Pollack reviewed some of important benefits of the future line including, “new multimodal connections to our three MARC lines, four WMATA subway lines, and bus transfers including the Takoma Langley transit center.” He added the convenience and dependability of east-west transit tops the list for the community.

As for timeline, Mr. Pollack said the project is currently “between the mobilization phase and beginning of construction period.” The State crews are still out in the field working, but MTS is now, as well. A lot of their focus has been in the area of maintenance facility and test track because, Pollack explained, “that will factor into the critical portion of the schedule where we need to get our test track complete to start as soon possible and for as long as necessary to have a safe opening in the fall of 2026.” MTS is currently reviewing the entire alignment.

One of our favorite topics, the light rail vehicles, was highlighted, with 26 of the 28 cars completed and resting in Elmira, New York. Nineteen of those cars would be able to ship right now if the facility was ready to accept them, so the push to get the maintenance facility ready is important.

You may remember the original order was for 26 cars, but the team added two more cars to help with reliability and run times to make sure it is predictable and convenient.

The way the cars look make be a surprise to some because they are much longer than we are used to seeing.  At 142 feet – about 1.5 times of what a normal car looks like – these will be the longest cars currently used in the country.  

The presentation included lots of details about timeline, alignment-wide work occurring, as well as technical insight into certain points along the alignment, but the main questions to come from council members circled around both the trail and pedestrian safety.

Right now, the trail is scheduled to open concurrently with the opening of revenue service for the Purple Line, which is different from what the former builder had indicated in terms of the potential for a soft opening of the trail prior to the beginning of passenger service.

The question was asked by several councilmembers about why at least portions of the trail cannot be open during testing, understanding that active construction would prevent that from occurring. The team was strongly urged to find a way to accommodate the promise made by the previous builder. Councilmember Andrew Friedson noted that many residents rely on the trail for their everyday lives and is very important in the way they get to work, school, etc. He went on to say that the loss of the trail which they thought would be a temporary closure of a few years, has stretched on and that it “would go a long way to restore the trust” to find a way to open portions of the trail early where possible.

Councilmember Albornoz asked whether there were any concerns about supply chain delays?

Mr. Gohde said, “We have spent these past months since April putting ourselves in a position that we can start the work and not shut it back down for something we didn’t foresee. We have been very deliberate in taking our time to be sure. Right now we have 100 management level folks, labor force is about 70 plus. We have significant subs. We believe that we have mitigated those challenges.”

Questions from Councilmember Hucker surrounded pedestrian safety and access, saying that the leaders of the project have been very responsive and helpful, but there is still the need for more staffing and infrastructure to guarantee safety.

We encourage you to listen to the full briefing if you would like to hear all the questions asked and to see the full slide show. We would also make a shameless plug for you to attend the Purple Line NOW Forum tomorrow evening, Thursday, September 22 where the key project leaders from the state, concessionaire, and builder will brief attendees and answers questions. You must register at the link above to attend the virtual event.

One final note, we were tickled that Purple Line NOW was tangentially mentioned by Councilmember Andrew Friedson during the briefing who noted, “the project is as old as I am. Harry Sanders’ son is now carrying the banner for the Purple Line. [Harry was Purple Line NOW's founder, his son, Greg Sanders, is now Purple Line NOW Vice President.] We can put the stops and starts and lawsuits behind us. Work with teams and labor organization to get it done.”

We couldn’t agree more, Councilmember Friedson!

Photos from Around the Corridor

As construction ramps up this autumn, snap a few photos and send them to us at [email protected]. With your permission, we'll give you photo credit and publish the photo when space allows. Today's photos of the Crescent at Chevy Chase project come from Rob Bindeman of Landmark Realty, Inc. 

Future Connecticut Avenue Station, adjacent to Chevy Chase Lake

Crescent at Chevy Chase
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