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9/23/2015



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Maryland transit agency wins FTA award for Purple Line planning


The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) won the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) 2015 Outstanding Achievement Award of Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation for the Purple Line's final environmental impact statement.

To be given at the American Public Transportation Association's annual meeting in San Francisco next month, the award recognized the Maryland agency's "well-managed" process for environmental documentation, MTA officials said in a press release.

"The review committee was particularly impressed with the presentation of information, including the use of reader-friendly language, graphics and tables, while successfully resolving complicated environmental issues," said Megan Blum, the FTA's environmental protection specialist.

In September 2013, the MTA issued public comment on the document, which assessed the potential transportation and environmental impacts of the Purple Line's preferred alternative, as well as those of a no-build alternative.

The FTA issued its record of decision in March 2014, which marked the end of the environmental analysis process, MTA officials said.

The Purple Line is a 16-mile light-rail route that is proposed to run between Montgomery and Prince George's counties. The project would include 21 stations, with direct connections to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Orange and Green line trains, as well as the Maryland Area Regional Commuter system's Brunswick, Camden and Penn lines.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2016, with passenger service starting in 2021.



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