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The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) on Wednesday released a request for proposals (RFP) for the Purple Line project in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.The MDOT and MTA are seeking a private-sector team to design, build, construct, finance, operate and maintain the light-rail line during a 35-year contract term. Four teams, short-listed by MDOT and MTA in January, are eligible to submit proposals due on Jan. 9, 2015, state officials said in a press release.MDOT and MTA officials expect to select a preferred partner in spring 2015 and recommend the final agreement to the Board of Public Works for review and approval. Construction would start later in 2015.Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said the release of the RFP marked a milestone for construction of the 16-mile light-rail line."Building the Purple Line as a public-private partnership will allow us to continue our commitment to fiscally responsible budgeting while using the knowledge and skills of the private sector to expand our transportation infrastructure," he said.The total project cost is $2.37 billion, with the private sector expected to provide $500 million to $900 million. A combination of federal, state and local dollars also will be used to fund the project. The Federal Transit Administration has recommended it for a Full Funding Grant Agreement, providing $100 million in fiscal-year 2015 and requesting $900 million for the project through its New Starts Program. When completed, the Purple Line will run east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George's County. Twenty-one stations are planned, which will provide direct connections to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metrorail Orange Line, Green Line and two branches of the Red Line, and the MARC Brunswick, Camden and Penn Lines. Estimated daily ridership is expected to exceed 74,000 by 2040.