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Old Posted Aug 4, 2009, 1:43 PM
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O'Malley Endorses Light Rail for Purple Line (Washington Post)

O'Malley Endorses Light Rail for Purple Line

By Lisa Rein and James Hohmann
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, August 4, 2009 9:06 AM


Gov. Martin O'Malley endorsed a light rail line over bus rapid transit Tuesday by announcing that Maryland will pursue federal transit money to build a Purple Line linking Prince George's and Montgomery counties.

"What we're presenting today is rightfully called the locally preferred alternative," O'Malley said, during a news conference at the New Carrollton Metro Station, the proposed eastern terminus for the Purple Line. He said his administration will apply for funding for the 16-mile line as well as a 14-mile Red Line through Baltimore, two long-awaited projects that have been in the planning stages for years.

O'Malley scheduled a whistle-stop train tour befitting both announcements: After the 8:30 press conference at New Carrollton, he plans to board a Baltimore-bound MARC train at 9:30 and travel to the West Baltimore station. When that train arrives at 10:14 a.m, he'll make his Red Line announcement.

Political support for both projects is behind light rail, although they face local opposition because they would run along local streets and not underground. The Purple Line would run along a popular wooded trail in Chevy Chase and through the golf course of a country club in Columbia.

Both lines are expected to get a boost from the No. 2 official at the U.S. Department of Transportation, John D. Porcari. who championed both when he was O'Malley's transportation secretary. Competition for federal money still will be tough, though.
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