Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Team Maryland Calls on FTA to Immediately Sign Full Funding Grant Agreement for Purple Line

July 25, 2017
Press Release
Project Creates 6,300 Construction Jobs, 27,000 Permanent Jobs; Connects 6,000 Small Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04) and members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation, including U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Representatives Steny H. Hoyer, John P. Sarbanes, John K. Delaney, and Jamie Raskin (all D-MD), have written to Matthew Welbes, Executive Director of the Federal Transit Administration, urging him to immediately sign the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and move the Maryland National Capital Purple Line project forward. The July 19, 2017 order of the United States Court of Appeals – District of Columbia Circuit reinstated the FTA’s Record of Decision (ROD) for this shovel-ready project, clearing the last major hurdle for signing of the agreement and the start of construction.

“As you know, the Purple Line Project is a 16.2 mile, 21-station, east-west light rail line that will connect numerous communities in Maryland. The line will connect major economic and jobs centers in the region, three Metrorail lines, all three Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) rail lines and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line,” the members wrote in their letter. “This project will play an integral role in revitalizing the inner-suburban communities we represent; bringing new economic opportunities to underserved parts of the region while generating 6,300 construction jobs and 27,000 permanent jobs, in addition to connecting the 6,000 small businesses and 130,000 jobs within a half mile of the line.

“Additionally, the Purple Line is a public-private partnership and could serve as a model for similar projects around the country in line with President Trump’s stated policy goals for increased private infrastructure investments,” they added.

Click here to read the text of the letter or see below:              

July 25, 2017

Mr. Matthew Welbes

Executive Director

Federal Transit Administration

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20590

Dear Mr. Welbes,

We urge the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to immediately sign the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and move the Maryland National Capital Purple Line project forward. The July 19, 2017 order of the United States Court of Appeals-  District of Columbia Circuit reinstated the FTA’s Record of Decision (ROD) for this shovel-ready project, clearing the last major hurdle for signing of the agreement and the start of construction. The Court of Appeals stayed U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s activist decision that sought to supplant the expert judgement of the FTA.

As you know, the Purple Line Project is a 16.2 mile, 21-station, east-west light rail line that will connect numerous communities in Maryland. The line will connect major economic and jobs centers in the region, three Metrorail lines, all three Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC) rail lines and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line. This project will play an integral role in revitalizing the inner-suburban communities we represent; bringing new economic opportunities to underserved parts of the region while generating 6,300 construction jobs and 27,000 permanent jobs, in addition to connecting the 6,000 small businesses and 130,000 jobs within a half mile of the line.

We were pleased to see the Administration include the Purple Line FFGA in its FY18 Annual Report on Funding Recommendations for the Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program. Congress’ bipartisan commitment to the CIG program and the Purple Line project is evidenced in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-31), which increased total grant funding by $236 million to $2.4 billion, and brought total appropriations for the Purple Line to $450 million. The availability of funding and these appropriations is a sign that Congress expects the Administration to continue signing FFGAs for highly rated projects.

Additionally, the Purple Line is a public-private partnership and could serve as a model for similar projects around the country in line with President Trump’s stated policy goals for increased private infrastructure investments. Public funds through FTA’s New Starts Program, the Maryland Transportation Trust Fund and outlays from Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties will pay for little over half of the $2.4 billion project, with Purple Line Transit Partners LLC - the state’s private concessionaire -  securing the additional $1 billion in financing. The private team would be reimbursed for design and construction and would then be paid annually to operate and maintain the line for 30 years. The partnership takes advantage of the private sector’s expertise and reduces risks for construction delays and cost overruns.

Congress and the Administration are committed to rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure and investing in projects that will create jobs and increase economic growth in the communities that need it the most. The Maryland National Capital Purple Line is such a project, and with your help, we can realize its promise and opportunity for our constituents. It is our sincere hope that the FTA will sign a FFGA with Maryland in the coming weeks.

Sincerely,

Issues: