Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) will make a major announcement regarding Purple Line funding on Monday at the Bethesda Metro station, according to advocates for the planned 16-mile light rail that would connect Bethesda and Silver Spring.
O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown are scheduled to make the announcement of transportation investments for Montgomery County at a 12:30 p.m. event.
This year, the state’s General Assembly approved a gas tax increase that officials say will mean an additional $4.4 billion in transportation funding over the next six years. Maryland Transit Administration officials hope to start construction on the $2.15 billion Purple Line by 2015 and have it open by 2020.
In May, O’Malley released a list of new transportation projects spurred by new gas tax revenue, including $280 million in design work for the Purple Line.
The state hopes to split the cost of the transit system with the federal government.
The MTA is hoping Montgomery County can convince the owner of the Apex Building, which sits on top of the Capital Crescent Trail tunnel where the Bethesda Purple Line station is planned, to raze or sell the building so it can build a more complete, cost-effective facility.
County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) hinted at the announcement at a capital budget forum on Tuesday. But Leggett didn’t indicate whether the apparent progress on the Purple Line would mean accelerated funding for the Bethesda Metro South Station Entrance, a county project that would connect the Metro platform and Purple Line at Elm Street.
Rendering via Maryland Transit Administration