The proposed Maryland light-rail Purple Line project has been recommended for US$100 million in federal money as part of the Obama Administration's 2015 fiscal year budget.
The project was included on a list of seven large transit projects nationwide to receive full funding grant agreements, which allow for a longer-term payment commitment by the federal government.
The other six projects that are also included in this list are: the Westside Subway Expansion - Section 1 (Los Angeles), Sunrail Phase II South (Orlando), Green Line Extension (Cambridge to Medford, MA), Red Line (Baltimore), Columbia River Crossing Project (Portland) and TEX Rail (Fort Worth).
In spring, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will issue a request for proposals to the shortlisted teams to submit complete proposals by fall 2014. In late 2014 or early 2015, MDOT / MTA will select a preferred partner and recommend the final agreement to the Board of Public Works for its review and approval. Construction could begin in Spring 2015.
The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that runs east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George's County with 21 stations planned that will provide direct connections to Metrorail's Orange Line, Green Line and two branches of the Red Line, and the MARC Brunswick, Camden and Penn Lines. The total project cost is US$2.2 billion, with the private sector expected to invest between US$500 and US$900 million.