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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan: Purple Line for DC, Bupkis for Baltimore

11:22 AM EDT on June 26, 2015

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says the Purple Line, a long-planned light rail expansion of the DC transit system in Montgomery and Prince George's counties, will move forward. But Hogan stiffed the people of Baltimore by canceling the Red Line in favor of road projects.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
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Dan Malouff at Greater Greater Washington reports that Hogan made his announcement yesterday.

To reduce costs, trains on the Purple Line will come every seven and half minutes rather than every six. The state will not change the alignment, nor the number or location of stations.

The longer headways mean there need to be fewer trains, saving money, and also cutting out the need for one staging area. Hogan also announced that the state would now pay only $168 million, rather than, he said, the original $700 million (but the state's future contribution had only been $333 million). Montgomery and Prince George's would have to pay more, though the exact amount, and whether they can do so, was not yet clear.

Malouff notes that the Purple Line was in the works for decades, with construction set to begin this year, before Hogan threatened to nix the project.

As for the Red Line, according to Malouff, "Hogan said the line is not cost-effective." Funds to add light rail in Baltimore "will instead go toward nearly $2 billion in road and bridge projects all across the state, including widening Route 404 on the Eastern Shore, some unspecified 'congestion reduction' on I-270, and new ramps to and from the Greeenbelt Metro to accommodate a future FBI headquarters."

Elsewhere on the Network today: Mobilizing the Region reports that Albany's failure to fund transit in New York City also hurts upstate economies, and the League of American Bicyclists examines what it takes to nurture bike-friendly businesses.

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