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The U.S. Department of Transportation's Build America Bureau has provided a low-interest loan of up to $1.76 billion to Purple Line Transit Partners for the Purple Line light-rail transit project in Maryland, the bureau announced today.
The loan will finance up to 33% of the $5.9 billion in eligible project costs, bureau officials said in a press release. The bureau helps communities deliver infrastructure projects by providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans and other types of innovative financing.
Now under construction, the Purple Line is a 16.2-mile, 21-station, east-west light-rail line that will extend from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County. Once the project is completed, five major activity centers — Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma-Langley Park, College Park and New Carrollton — will connect with 16 other stations that serve residential communities, commercial districts and institutional establishments.
The project will also result in direct connections to four branches of the existing Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metrorail system, all three MARC commuter-rail lines and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line.
"The much-anticipated Purple Line will serve areas that will benefit from associated economic development, while creating opportunities for transit-oriented development," said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. "We worked closely with our partners to finalize this loan, which is an essential piece of the financing to move this critical project forward."
The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration is working under a public-private partnership agreement with Purple Line Transit Partners to design, build, operate and maintain the light-rail system for 35 years.
The new loan replaces a previous $874.6 million loan closed in June 2016.