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Md. MTA Breaks Ground For Purple Line; Secretary Chao, Gov. Hogan Sign FFGA

DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan signed a $900 million FTA Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) Aug. 28 for the Maryland Purple Line Light Rail Project that will connect two Maryland counties bordering Washington, DC.

“The Purple Line is a great example of what can be achieved when federal, state and private partners work together,” Chao said at the ground breaking. “Combining U.S. Department of Transportation resources with private funds, this project is well on its way to transforming public transit in urban Maryland.”

Hogan called the Purple Line “a big win for the state of Maryland and … a major benefit to the national capital region. It is a shining example of what can be accomplished when our federal, state, county and private sector partners work together.”

FTA Executive Director Matthew Welbes said, “The Maryland Purple Line will create a fast and efficient connection for its residents as well as a strong foundation for strategic development along the corridor.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and DOT Secretary Elaine L. Chao at the FFGA for the Maryland Purple Line Light Rail Project.

The 16.2-mile Maryland Purple Line, with 21 stations, will connect major activity centers in suburban Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma-Langley Park, College Park and New Carrollton to three Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail lines, all three MARC commuter rail lines operated by the Maryland Transit Administration and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Line. Although the project will provide direct connections with Metrorail and MARC, it will remain physically and operationally separate.

In addition to the FFGA, funding for the line includes an $874.6 million TIFIA loan to Purple Line Transit Partners LLC, for construction, and a $5.6 billion P3 contract between Maryland DOT and Purple Line Transit Partners to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the system, both approved in 2016. Maryland DOT will be the owner of the project and its selected private partner, Purple Line Transit Partners, will implement the project on a design-build-finance-operate-maintain basis.

Chao said, “P3s hold great potential for revitalizing our infrastructure and demonstrate how communities’ projects can benefit through access to additional funding resources, which can accelerate project delivery and provide greater innovation.”

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