The 2013 scheduled completion of the Purple Line will be pushed back at least a year as state officials try to shore up ridership estimates (Baltimore Sun story). The move, according to acting transportation Secretary John Porcari, is in anticipation of a high level of scrutiny from the Federal Transit Administration when the state eventually seeks federal funding for the $1.3 billion (light rail) project. Federal funding is always a major factor in infrastructure projects, but it is particularly important now given Maryland’s grim state budget projections.
We were looking forward to public meetings this spring/summer on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, but those will certainly be delayed as well. From our view, the Purple Line is a central linchpin of the East Campus Development project. In meetings we’ve had with university administrators, it has been clear that space will be alloted for the transitway since it will inevitably be built after much of the construction on East Campus has already commenced. In the past we’ve supported the rail alignment directly through the project (as pictured above). From a very good source, it appears that that alignment will be pursued as opposed to the Paint Branch Parkway on-street alignment.