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Rail News: Passenger Rail

FTA approves environmental impact statement for Maryland's Purple Line


The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has approved the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Maryland Transit Administration's (MTA) Purple Line light-rail project, Gov. Martin O'Malley recently announced.

The FEIS approval, along with the FTA's previous recommendation for project funding, moves the project "one step closer to construction," he said in a press release.

“The Purple Line is another great example of our efforts to invest in our critical infrastructure, reducing congestion, improving our environment and driving transit ridership," O'Malley said.

Now that the FTA has approved the FEIS and recommended the project be partially financed through a Full Funding Grant Agreement, the project can move to the next phase, which includes selecting a private partner to finalize design and build, finance, operate and maintain the project, MTA officials said. Currently, the agency is working with four private-sector teams, which will submit proposals through a competitive process later this year.

The Purple Line is a 16-mile light-rail line that will run east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.