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Private firm sought for Purple Line

Maryland Transit AdministrationExecutive BranchMartin O'MalleyMaryland General AssemblyAnthony G. Brown

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.

The project was part of $650 million in transportation projects for Montgomery County that the governor and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown announced Monday in Bethesda.

The east-west Purple Line is among the highest-profile of the projects to be financed, in part, by the higher gas tax the Maryland General Assembly approved this spring. It is also the first project launched under a new bill written to encourage private investment in public projects.

Construction is expected to begin in 2015.

Motorists saw a 3.5-cent-per-gallon increase to the gas tax in July, the first increase of several scheduled over the next three years.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Maryland Transit AdministrationExecutive BranchMartin O'MalleyMaryland General AssemblyAnthony G. Brown
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