Governor Larry Hogan has announced that the State of Maryland, USA, will move forward with the Light Rail (Purple Line) P3 project.
According to Mr Hogan, the state will fund about US$168 million, which is a fraction of the cost estimated at up to US$700 million.
The total project investment was previously estimated at US$2.45 billion, but the government expects to save about US$300 million. These cut costs include, among others, making train headways 7 and a half minutes instead of 6 minutes.
The project involves the development of a 25.75 km light rail line that would run east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George's County. The new line would includes the construction of 21 stations that would 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 new facilities would carry about 58,000 riders-day if it opens as scheduled in 2020 and ridership could rise to 74,000 riders-day by 2040.
If the projects goes ahead, it will be developed on a design, build, finance, operate and maintenance (DBFOM) basis. The PPP contract will have a period of of 35 years. The project also involves the supply light rail vehicles.
In early January 2014 four teams were shortlisted: Maryland Purple Line Partners, Maryland Transit Connectors, Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) and Purple Plus Alliance LLC Proposer. Later in July the Maryland Department of Transportation together with the Maryland Transit Administration launched the RFP for the project.
The deadline to submit proposals was extended twice, in mid December from 9 January to 12 March and in February from 12 March to mid August.