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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx earlier this week announced an $874.6 million federal loan to Purple Line Transit Partners LLC for the implementation of the Maryland Purple Line.
Issued under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA), the loan will support construction the light-rail line connecting Montgomery and Prince George's counties, Md. The 16.2-mile light-rail line will feature 21 stations.The east-west corridor is located inside the Capital Beltway near Washington, D.C., in a densely populated area with commercial, mixed-use and residential development, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The line also will provide direct connections with Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority services, Maryland Area Regional Commuter trains and Amtrak, but will remain physically and operationally separate from those systems."The Washington metropolitan region is one of the most congested areas in the country, and viable transportation alternatives are needed to accommodate a growing population," said Foxx. "When completed, the Maryland Purple Line will connect residents in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, Md., with improved access to jobs, education, and medical care and, overall, will help improve the quality of life."In addition to the TIFIA loan, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is working with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) on a full funding grant agreement that would provide $900 million from the federal agency's capital investment grant program. FTA expects the agreement to be signed in summer. MTA also will utilize $36 million of FTA Section 5307 Urbanized Area Formula Grant funds for the project. The Maryland Department of Transportation will be the owner of the project, while Purple Line Transit Partners will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the line.The Purple Line project was procured as a public-private partnership under a concession agreement that was went into effect April 7, 2016. The line will reach "substantial completion" in March 2022, USDOT officials said.