USA: Maryland’s first public-private partnership in the public transport sector will be the Purple Line light rail route, Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley announced on August 5.
The 25·7 km east–west Purple Line would link New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and Bethesda in Montgomery County, with 19 intermediate stops. Maryland Transit Administration estimates ridership of 74 000 passengers/day in 2040.
The private partner would be awarded a design-build-finance-operate-maintain contract. ‘We can move ahead with the Purple Line and bring the best private sector practices and innovation needed to create the 21st century transportation network that a modern economy requires,’ said O’Malley.
The state will provide $280m for right-of-way acquisition and final design and $400m for the line’s construction. This will come partly from a petrol tax increase approved in March. The remainder of the $2·2bn project is to be funded by federal grants, state and local financial contributions, and private funding.
The funding forms part of a $650m package for transport projects in Montgomery County. These include $100m to complete right-of-way acquisition and final design for the 14·5 km first phase of the Corridor Cities Transitway light rail or bus route between Shady Grove and Clarksburg.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s draft six-year budget to be published on September 3 will provide a full list of the new projects funded by the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act 2013, expected to total $4·4bn.