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Michael Dresser and The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2014
Republican gubernatorial candidate said Larry Hogan indicated Wednesday that his opposition to state financing of the construction of Baltimore's Red Line and another large transit project doesn't necessarily mean forever. Hogan continued to insist, as he has since launching his campaign, that the state cannot afford to begin building the $2.6 billion Red Line and $2.4 billion Purple Line In the Washington suburbs at this time.  “I'm not really opposed to the Red Line or the Purple Line and both of them I think are worth considering and I'm not even opposed to continuing along the planning and engineering phases, but quite frankly, you know, we've robbed a billion dollars out of the Transportation Trust Fund,” Hogan said.
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NEWS
Michael Dresser and The Baltimore Sun | October 8, 2014
Republican gubernatorial candidate said Larry Hogan indicated Wednesday that his opposition to state financing of the construction of Baltimore's Red Line and another large transit project doesn't necessarily mean forever. Hogan continued to insist, as he has since launching his campaign, that the state cannot afford to begin building the $2.6 billion Red Line and $2.4 billion Purple Line In the Washington suburbs at this time.  “I'm not really opposed to the Red Line or the Purple Line and both of them I think are worth considering and I'm not even opposed to continuing along the planning and engineering phases, but quite frankly, you know, we've robbed a billion dollars out of the Transportation Trust Fund,” Hogan said.
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NEWS
By TIM EBNER and Capital News Service | April 13, 2012
COLLEGE PARK - Proposed construction on the Purple Line will not begin for at least another three years, but some local school leaders are concerned as state and county planners work to finalize a route. Under the current plan, the 16-mile light rail line will impact four middle and elementary schools in Prince George's and Montgomery County. While the Purple Line is welcome news to many drivers who commute along the heavily congested east-west corridor daily, parents and principals worry about student safety and school property space.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 5, 2014
The state ethics board is reviewing one of the firms bidding to build and operate the Purple Line after the engineering company was acquired by another MTA contractor. Engineering design firm AECOM, which in 2011 was awarded an 8-year, $60-million contract with the MTA to oversee the Purple Line and the proposed Red Line in Baltimore, among other projects, announced in July that it had reached an agreement to acquire engineering and construction firm URS Corp. URS Corp. is the lead design company for a group known as the Maryland Purple Line Partners, one of four groups that have been short-listed by the state to submit proposals for what will be a public-private partnership with the state to build the transit line linking Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
FEATURES
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | August 5, 2013
The proposed Purple Line, which is to connect Metro stations in Prince George's and Montgomery counties, will be the first state transit line built and operated by a private company, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced on Monday. The state will seek a private firm to design, build and operate the 16-mile light rail line and its 21 new stations. The state would set the fares. All but $400 million of the project's $2.2 billion cost will be paid for by federal grants and private investment, according to O'Malley's office.
BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | January 8, 2014
Four teams of contractors and investors have been named to a short-list of companies that will be considered under a public-private partnership with Maryland to build the Purple Line. The teams were selected from a pool of six respondents to an initial request for qualifications that the state put out in early December. The 16-mile Purple Line will connect with Washington's metro system and include 21 stations between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George's County.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2014
State officials' assessment of the environmental impacts of the proposed Purple Line through suburban Washington satisfies federal environmental standards, the Federal Transit Administration announced this week — an important green light for the project to proceed. The federal clearance is required for federal funding to be spent on the project, as planned, and gives state officials more confidence to begin the long task of acquiring land in the proposed transit line's right-of-way, officials said.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser | November 6, 2013
The Board of Public Works gave its blessing Wednesday to an O'Malley administration plan to contract with a private sector partner to build, operate and help finance a $2.2 billion light rail line in the Washington suburbs. The board action clears the way for the Maryland Department of Transportation to move forward on the 16-mile Purple Line from New Carrollton to Bethesda as a so-called public-private partnership. The General Assembly approved legislation this year encouraging the state to use such agreements, known as P3s, to finance large infrastructure projects.
NEWS
March 7, 2013
The Maryland Department of Transportation wants to proceed with the light rail Purple Line at a newly raised price tag of $2.15 billion. The Purple Line now costs more than twice the rapid transit bus alternative while yielding only a 25 percent increase in ridership. This is not a cost-effective investment of public dollars. For the cost of the Purple Line, Marylanders could have bus rapid transit along the Purple Line corridor and rapid bus transit along Montgomery County's I-270 corridor plus have a half billion dollars to fund other transportation projects.
NEWS
By Katherine Shaver, The Washington Post | January 12, 2011
Ed Dabolt hopes any Purple Line station near his Hyattsville neighborhood will be modern and inviting. Chevy Chase residents want a bridge to allow children, joggers and cyclists to safely cross new tracks, and the University of Maryland is pushing for a train tunnel beneath its College Park campus. As the Maryland Transit Administration analyzes a proposed light rail line between Bethesda and New Carrollton, the focus is narrowing from the larger vision to the nitty-gritty details: where stations should be, what kind of landscaping and sound walls are needed, and how pedestrians and vehicles should cross tracks.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 2, 2014
The Maryland Department of Transportation announced $280 million in new projects in its annual budget proposal released Tuesday, far less than the billions in capital improvements announced after the increase in the state's gas tax last year. The state's latest "consolidated transportation program," which covers transportation spending from 2015 to 2020, instead pushes along various projects announced last year, including about $1.5 billion worth in the Baltimore region. The draft budget will be taken up by the General Assembly in the coming legislative session.
FEATURES
Tim Wheeler | August 27, 2014
A Washington-area trail users' group and a pair of environmental advocates have filed suit to block the Purple Line , contending the $2.4 billion light-rail project in the DC suburbs threatens to harm two species of endangered crustaceans that live in the creek the transit line would cross. The Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail and John M. Fitzgerald and Christine Real de Azua of Chevy Chase asked the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Tuesday to overturn clearance given the project earlier this year by the Federal Transit Administration and require federal agencies to explore alternate routes for the rail line.
BUSINESS
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | May 10, 2014
As Maryland looks to re-energize its economy amid federal budget cuts and slow growth in the aftermath of the recession, the three Democrats vying to be the next governor each developed distinct - and detailed - plans for how to improve Maryland's business climate and promote job creation. The party's dominance in state politics means that whomever emerges from next month's primary will be favored to win the general election, but several economists said none of the candidates' plans would provide a silver-bullet solution to the state's economic woes.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 21, 2014
State officials' assessment of the environmental impacts of the proposed Purple Line through suburban Washington satisfies federal environmental standards, the Federal Transit Administration announced this week — an important green light for the project to proceed. The federal clearance is required for federal funding to be spent on the project, as planned, and gives state officials more confidence to begin the long task of acquiring land in the proposed transit line's right-of-way, officials said.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 13, 2014
A bill that would block a U.S. subsidiary of the French national railway from bidding to become a partner in a $2.4 billion project because of its role in the Holocaust would put federal funding of the project at "significant risk," the attorney general's office has concluded. In an opinion letter sent Wednesday, General Assembly counsel Dan Friedman told lawmakers that enacting the measure would run afoul of the Federal Transit Administration's rules ensuring open competition among bidders for projects to which it contributes money.
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | March 10, 2014
The specter of the Holocaust came to Annapolis on Monday as survivors and their descendants sought what they view as justice in memory of a witness who couldn't be there. Leo Bretholz of Pikesville had been scheduled to testify on behalf of a bill to prohibit an American subsidiary of the French national railway from building a light rail line in the Washington suburbs unless it pays reparations for its role in transporting Nazi victims to European death camps. Bretholz, who escaped from a cattle car carrying Jews and other Nazi victims to Auschwitz in 1942, died in his sleep Saturday, a few days after his 93rd birthday.
BUSINESS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | November 15, 2013
Officials in Maryland want disadvantaged local residents to fill thousands of construction jobs as two major transit projects come online in Baltimore and the Washington suburbs in coming years, and are handing out grant money to get them trained. On Friday, Gov. Martin O'Malley and other state officials announced a new program under which qualified companies or organizations will be selected to train local residents for entry-level, mid-level and skilled positions with contractors building the Red Line in Baltimore and Purple Line in Prince George's and Montgomery counties.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
The estimated costs for the Red and Purple transit lines in Baltimore and suburban Washington increased in recent years, an analysis released Wednesday by the Federal Transit Administration showed. The Red Line, which would cut west-to-east across and at times under Baltimore, now is estimated to cost $2.644 billion, $70 million more than a November 2012 estimate, primarily due to "increased construction costs for underground stations and for the heavy maintenance facility," according to the report.
NEWS
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | March 5, 2014
The estimated costs for the Red and Purple transit lines in Baltimore and suburban Washington increased in recent years, an analysis released Wednesday by the Federal Transit Administration showed. The Red Line, which would cut west-to-east across and at times under Baltimore, now is estimated to cost $2.644 billion, $70 million more than a November 2012 estimate, primarily due to "increased construction costs for underground stations and for the heavy maintenance facility," according to the report.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2014
President Barack Obama proposed a $3.9 trillion federal budget on Tuesday that calls for spending billions more on infrastructure, raising taxes on the wealthy and closing the gap between rich and poor that he has vowed to make a focus of his second term. The budget - drafted with this fall's congressional elections on the horizon - includes a host of policies likely to appeal to Democratic voters, such as expanding early childhood education, raising tobacco taxes and boosting a tax credit for the poor.
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