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Students Rally for Purple Line

Joining the ranks of Purple Line supporters, students at the University of Maryland yesterday started a grass roots campaign for the transit line that would traverse the College Park campus.

Student government president Jonathan S. Sachs, said the "Terps for the Purple Line" coalition is "one of the broadest we've seen." It includes the campus NAACP chapter, Black Student Union, Latino Student Union, Hispanic Heritage Coalition, Graduate Student Government and the campus chapter of the Maryland Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

The group pledged to rally support for the light rail line that would run 16 miles across the Maryland suburbs, connecting Metro stations in New Carrollton, Silver Spring and Bethesda.

To demonstrate the need for the east-west connection, a group of students boarded a Metrorail train in Bethesda en route to College Park. They rode the Red Line, transferred to the Green Line, then transferred to a campus shuttle bus.

Afterwards, Sachs said the trip took one hour and 10 minutes, compared to the 25 to 30 minutes it would take by car (barring rush hour traffic.)

Students, Sachs said, are "motivated to have a cost-effective mass transit alternative to their cars. As a college student, you're already paying for tuition and textbooks. On top of that you're going to have to pay $4 or even $5 a gallon for gas, plus car insurance and parking."

By Phyllis Jordan  |  July 24, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
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