Friday, January 16, 2009

Light Rail Locked for the Purple Line

In keeping with last month's staff report, the Montgomery County Planning Board endorsed light rail as the preferred mode of Purple Line transport in a 4-1 vote yesterday afternoon, decidedly nixing the prospect of a rapid bus transit alternative. The vote came at the end of two-session round of public testimony that drew nearly 50 speakers and hundreds of pieces of correspondence - many of them supporters of the embattled Capital Crescent Trail that shadows the Purple Line's proposed 16-mile route from Bethesda to New Carrollton.

Board Chairman Royce Hanson cited light rail's proclivity for speedier transport, greater passenger capacity, longer 50 to 60 year lifespan and compatibility with existing Metro and MARC systems as benefits of the selection. Despite any advantages, the new light rail will cost millions more than bus service; current projections predict that the cost of the project could rise as high as $1.6 billion.

Preliminary engineering for the Purple Line is scheduled to begin this August, although work on the line itself won’t begin before 2012, at the earliest. At present, the project’s next stop is a Montgomery County Council committee meeting on January 22nd, which will then be followed by a full public session on January 27th.


Kevan said...

Why is this being called the purple line anyway, will the lightrail in DC whenever they built be the pink line.

Anonymous said...

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to commute easily,
The wretched refuse of your innerbeltway communities.
Send these, the stuck in traffic, gridlocked to me.
I lift my doors beside the rail tracks."

monkeyrotica on Jan 21, 2009, 9:00:00 AM said...

Would you rather pay that $1.6 billion in 2009 dollars or 2059 dollars? Because you're going to have to spend the money one day. Might as well get it done during a recession when labor's still relatively cheap.


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