Maryland’s Board of Public Works, which include Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, and Maryland State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, approved a $5.6 billion contract for the Purple Line this week. The contract includes both construction and operating costs, and make the Purple Line one of the largest transportation projects in recent Maryland history, significantly more expensive than the InterCounty Connector, another SMTA priority project, that has been operating for several years now in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.
The Purple Line links key activity centers from Bethesda, to Silver Spring, Greenbelt and eventually New Carrollton, and is expected to yield billions in related economic development and job creation benefits, as well as providing significantly improved suburb-to-suburb transit service throughout this corridor. The latest approval by the Board of Public Works marks one of the final steps in this long-anticipated project, which is expected to start construction as early as the end of this year.
For more, here is the Baltimore Sun’s coverage of this latest step forward in the Purple Line’s long-overdue march to completion. The Baltimore Red Line, also noted in the article, was not approved by Governor Hogan due to its comparatively poor performance in attracting new transit riders and low cost-effectiveness ratings, which may have doomed its chances of ever winning federal funding anyway. The Purple Line has long been among SMTA’s top transportation priorities for the Greater Washington region.