The funding will include $170 million for land acquisition and $519 million for final design and the initial stages of construction, which is due to begin in 2015.
The 14-mile east-west line will run from Woodlawn in Baltimore County to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, with 20 stations, five of them underground. Maryland Transit Administration completed a final environmental impact statement in December 2012 and the Federal Transit Administration approved the project last March.
Revenue service is slated to begin in early 2021, protected by a fleet of 38 light rail transit vehicles.
Gov.O'Malley on Wednesday affirmed plans to add weekend rail service on MARC's Penn Line, part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and cited $246 million targeted for signal and rolling stock upgrades on Baltimore's existing subway system. Also planned is the long-proposed Purple Line light rail transit project spanning two counties north of Washington, D.C.