Md. Purple Line rail project gets $900 million boost

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“Combining U.S. Department of Transportation resources with private funds, this project is well on its way to transforming public transit in urban Maryland,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Choa during a ceremony to award a $900 million grant to the Maryland Purple Line Light Rail Project.“Combining U.S. Department of Transportation resources with private funds, this project is well on its way to transforming public transit in urban Maryland,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Choa during a ceremony to award a $900 million grant to the Maryland Purple Line Light Rail Project.

A plan to make travel easier via light rail for residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in Maryland got a $900 million infusion, thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The money will go toward the future 16.2-mile Purple Line that will link with three Washington Metropolitan Area Transit (WMATA) lines, three Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) lines and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line. The new line, to be built as a public-private partnership, would serve Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma-Langley Park, College Park and New Carrollton.

The grant follows a USDOT loan of $874.6 million in June 2016 to Purple Line Transit Partners LLC, the private entity in the rail partnership.

The Maryland Department of Transportation signed a $5.6 billion contract in March 2016 with Transit Partners for the private entity to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the light rail system. The MDOT will retain ownership of the rail line, which will have 21 stations and 25 articulated light rail vehicles.

The $900 million grant was awarded by the USDOT’s Federal Transit Administration.