Thursday, September 05, 2013

Maryland to fund Baltimore Red Line

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Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, that the Old Line State will allocate $689 million to Baltimore's planned light rail Red Line, as part of a $1.5 billion investment in transport projects in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

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.