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Purple Line Planning Continues

While the Dulles rail project has gained the most attention lately, one of the region's other transit projects, the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, keeps chugging through its study phase.

The Maryland Transit Administration, also in charge of MARC, Baltimore's light rail and the commuter buses among other things, is holding another series of open houses to discuss the Purple Line. Three of the sessions are this week.

The schedule:
-- Today at West Lanham Hills Recreation Center, 7700 Decatur Road, Landover Hills;
-- Wednesday at East Silver Spring Elementary School, 631 Silver Spring Ave., Silver Spring;
-- Thursday at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School cafeteria, 4301 East-West Highway, Bethesda.

All are from 5 to 8 p.m.

You'll see some new, bigger numbers on potential ridership and some new estimates on travel times along the line, which still could be either a light rail or a rapid bus system. (To me, light rail makes the most sense. You can read the case for that on the Web site of Purple Line NOW!, an advocacy group for the project.)

By Robert Thomson  |  May 12, 2008; 12:23 PM ET
Categories:  transit  
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Are they making plans to have large parking areas near the planned locations for these future stations? The Herndon-Monroe Park-and-Ride is already to small for existing bus riders. I'm sick of places like West Falls Church being overloaded. Can they get property for high-capacity garages built now instead of waiting until it is too-late or too-expensive to do so?

Posted by: Herndon | May 12, 2008 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Generally, the Purple Line won't have Metro-provided parking except at currently existing Metro stations. (Plans are evolving, so some exceptions could emerge.)

I imagine there will be a significant number of people from Anne Arundel and southern Prince George's counties who park at New Carrollton and use the Purple Line. And there will surely be a significant number of new Metro riders who park at Greenbelt, Glenmont, Shady Grove, etc. or at MARC stations and transfer to the Purple Line. But most of the access will be on foot, by bicycle, or by bus.

Park-and-ride trips are a significant part of transit ridership, but quantitatively they're much less important than many people think. The Greater Greater Washington blog has been running a quiz with some interesting statistics:

Posted by: Ben Ross | May 13, 2008 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Today the Post ran an article detailing the 10 worst traffic spots in Montgomery County. The Purple Line will do nothing to help any of the 10 spots. The question is why is this project getting so much attention and potential $$ when it will do NOTHING to help alleviate road traffic in Montgomery County.

Posted by: jdub | May 14, 2008 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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