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Purple Line Progresses

Carla Peay | 8/5/2009, 4:52 p.m.

The proposed Purple Line took a giant step forward on Tue., April 4, when Maryland Governor Martin O€Malley announced the proposed route for the new line. This step represents significant progress for a project that has been discussed and debated for years, while progress has been stalled.

Among the supporters of the Purple Line is Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (D-District 4), who joined O€Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown (D-MD) Prince George€s County Executive Jack Johnson and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett for the announcement, which was held at the New Carrolton Metro Station.

€I€m very excited about the Purple Line,€ Johnson said. €People spend too much time everyday in their cars traveling to and from work, losing quality time with family and friends. The Purple Line will provide transportation options and reduce traffic congestion on our roads. People will spend less time commuting, and more time with their loved ones.€

The Purple Line will be 16 miles long and will connect Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Lytonsville, Silver Spring, Long Branch, Takoma/Langley, College Park/the University of Maryland, M Square, Riverdale Park and New Carrollton, Md. The Purple Line will form an arc around the northern end of the District and will effectively connect Prince George€s County with Montgomery County and the District. The Purple Line will be a light rail, and will either be operated by Metro, or by the Maryland Transportation Authority.

€As a long-time champion of the Purple Line, I am excited that we are poised at the state and federal level to make the Purple Line a reality. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Purple Line is without question my number one transportation priority in Congress,€ Edwards said.

Citizens in support of the Purple Line gathered for an announcement on the progress of the line on Tue., Aug 4 at the New Carrolton Metro Station. Courtesy Photo
Edwards added that the Purple Line project €will promote transit system connectivity and provide much-needed transportation options for the entire region.€

The completion of the Purple Line will improve east to west transportation across the region, and is expected to be a source of economic development for both Prince George€s and Montgomery counties.

A group that has long been pushing for the project is Purple Line NOW!, a non-profit organization formed in 2002. The group started as the Coalition to Build the Inner Purple Line, and has long emphasized their belief in the critical nature of completing the Purple Line.

€Purple Line NOW! seeks mobility choices for citizens of our region. We believe the Purple Line is the most important next addition to the Maryland public transit network,€ the group€s Web site states.

Former Maryland governor Robert Ehrlich was not a strong supporter of the Purple Line, and was in favor of a bus route or an alternative combined transportation proposal, but under O€Malley and other leaders in Maryland, the project is moving forward.

The O€Malley administration allocated $100 million within a six-year capital budget to complete design documents for state approval and for funding of the Purple Line back in January 2008. The project will now be submitted for federal funding.

€This project will be a source of economic development for both Prince George€s and Montgomery counties,€ Edwards said. €I look forward to continue working together to complete the planning and funding requirements so that construction can begin shortly.€