Ehrlich: Rapid bus more practical for Purple Line
Rapid bus service, rather than light rail, remains Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s preferred mode of transportation along Maryland's proposed Purple Line, he said Tuesday during a campaign swing through Montgomery County.
Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) announced in August that he would pursue federal money to help build a 16-mile light rail line linking Prince George's and Montgomery counties -- an option Ehrlich (R) said the state probably can't afford.
"You have to be honest with people, and the honesty is the dollars aren't there," Ehrlich told reporters following a meeting with small business leaders in Rockville, in which the Purple Line light-rail plan was among many issues discussed.
As envisioned by O'Malley, the $1.5 billion project would use light rail to move commuters between New Carrollton and downtown Bethesda, with stops in between including Silver Spring, Takoma Park and the University of Maryland at College Park. Less costly rapid bus service along roughly the same route, advocated by Ehrlich during his administration, is "just more viable," he said Tuesday.
O'Malley campaign spokesman RIck Abbruzzese said Ehrlich's comments were "just more proof that Ehrlich is out of touch and wants to take our state back -- back to the days when the interests of private golf courses were put ahead of the interests of Maryland's families."
Abbruzzese was referring to previous comments by Ehrlich sympathetic to the Columbia Country Club, located off Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase. The club has opposed the light-rail line, which would bisect its 100-year-old golf course.
"This issue has been debated long enough, and under Governor O'Malley, the Purple Line is moving forward," Abbruzzese said.
May 19, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: 2010 Elections , John Wagner
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