O'Malley Will Back Light Rail for Purple Line
Gov. Martin O'Malley is expected to endorse a light rail line over bus rapid transit with his announcement Tuesday that Maryland will pursue federal transit money to build a Purple Line linking Prince George's and Montgomery counties.
His administration will apply for funding for the 16-mile line as well as a 14-mile Red Line through Baltimore, two long-awaited projects that have been in the planning stages for years.
O'Malley has scheduled a whistle-stop train tour befitting both announcements: He'll hold an 8:30 a.m. press conference with state and local officials at the New Carrollton Metro Station,the proposed eastern terminus for the Purple Line, then board a Baltimore-bound MARC train at 9:30 and travel to the West Baltimore station. When the train arrives at 10:14 a.m, he'll make his Red Line announcement.
Political support for both projects is behind light rail, although they face local opposition because they would run along local streets and not underground. The Purple Line would run along a popular wooded trail in Chevy Chase and through the golf course of the Columbia Country Club.
Both lines are expected to get a boost from the No. 2 official at the U.S. Department of Transportation. John D. Porcari championed both when he was O'Malley's transportation secretary. Competition for federal money still will be tough, though.
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