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Maryland transit officials request private-sector input on Purple, Red line light-rail projects

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has issued a request for information (RFI) seeking private-sector input on best practices and innovative approaches to deliver and finance the Maryland National Capital Purple Line and Baltimore Red Line projects, agency officials announced yesterday.

The announcement follows Gov. Martin O'Malley's recent signature on the state's new Public-Private Partnerships (P3) law, which calls for a framework to attract private investment in public infrastructure projects.

"Building rail lines is not something we do every day, so by seeking input from firms with expertise and creativity in building mega projects, we will succeed in attracting strong, competitive proposals for Maryland's first new transit lines in decades," said Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in a prepared statement.

The RFI will help MTA frame the financing, construction and operation plans of the state's next generation of transit service, MTA officials said. MTA is considering traditional project delivery methods in which the agency separately contracts for engineering, construction and rail cars, then operates the line with its own employees.

In addition, the agency is exploring methods that combine some or all of those steps to reduce time and cost, agency officials said.

State officials are targeting 2015 to start construction on the Purple and Red light-rail lines, with the goal of launching revenue service after 2020.

The Purple Line will be a 16-mile route featuring 21 stations between Bethesda and New Carrollton. The Red Line will be a 14-mile route featuring 19 stations between Woodlawn, downtown Baltimore and Johns Hopkins Bayview.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/12/2013