Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Maryland Purple Line gets initial state funds

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Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley last week said the state will budget about $69 million in state funding for engineering work related to the proposed 16-mile Purple Line Light Rail project.

Md. Purple Line mapThe proposed LRT line, planned to link with Washington, D.C.’s Metro rail system in at least four locations, arcs across D.C.’s northern suburbs across two counties in Maryland, from Bethesda to New Carrollton. Current construction costs are estimated at $1.925 billion. 

The $69 million reportedly will cover costs for the next two years, and will be generated from increases in certificate and title fees for vehicles, as well as from higher fees for vanity tags and dealer processing charges, according to a spokesman from the Maryland Department of Transportation.

While just 3.6% of the overall cost, the $69 million is politically significant, given past opposition to or neglect of the Purple Line proposal from previous state administrations.