Smith said the level of public-private partnership for the Red Line has not been determined, but it will be a much smaller percentage of the project than the Purple Line because the underground system planned for Baltimore is more complex.
"Tunnel boring isn't something that generally works with a developer," he said.
Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, said the interest shown by hundreds of companies at a forum on Red Line public-private partnerships suggests private industry is clamoring for a way to benefit from the project.
"In cities where there have been new transit locations," Fry said, "that's where a significant amount of development occurred."
Companies have already applied to help build the Purple Line in Montgomery County.
"If you look at the industry landscape across the country, it's no secret that our infrastructure is in crisis," said Jessica Murray, a spokeswoman for the Alexandria, Va., construction firm Skanska. "The reality is, if you don't have a private company come in and build it, it's probably not going to get done."
Murray said projects such as the Purple and Red lines give infrastructure companies with access to capital, such as Skanska, profitable deals with a promised revenue stream, and allows governments to build infrastructure it couldn't otherwise afford.
"It's a way for it to work for everybody," she said. "We can come in and design and build the best operating system possible. We can bring in maintenance and facilities people that will make sure everything is operating at top shape."
DeGrange, the transportation budget subcommittee chairman, said public-private partnerships can allow a state to build necessary infrastructure and spread the cost — but should be undertaken cautiously.
"The devil is in the details, always, to see exactly what the total cost is going to be over the entire contract, and what the benefits are going to be," he said. "You have to be careful how you are mortgaging the future."
Nearly $100 million in new funding will allow the Maryland Transit Administration to expand MARC train service to include nine round trips Baltimore and Washington on the Penn Line on Saturday and six on Sunday, to buy two new locomotives and to offer two additional daily weekday round trips on the Camden Line.
Del. James E. Malone Jr., a Baltimore County Democrat and chair of the House transportation subcommittee, said the Dec. 7 start to weekend service would provide opportunities for people to travel between Baltimore and Washington and spend money, especially during the holidays.
"I'm very ecstatic about that," he said. "It will be great for people to be able to use it on the weekend, for people who want to go downtown to do Christmas shopping, downtown to see all the different Christmas lights, all the different functions, all the different shows."
A previous version of this article incorrectly described the interchange at Fort Meade to be rebuilt with $29 million. The Sun regrets the error.
New transportation projects in the Baltimore region
$519 to initiate construction of the Red Line ($170 million for right way and final design was announced in May).
$246 million to replace Baltimore Metro's fleet of 100 railcars and 15 miles of signaling systems.
$86 million in construction funds to widen the outer loop of Interstate 695 between Route 40 and Route 144 in Baltimore County.
$75 million in construction funds to build a new Kirk Bus Division transportation and storage building in Baltimore City.
$60 million in construction funds to improve traffic flow on Interstate 695 at Leeds Avenue and replace two bridges in the same area in Baltimore County.
$52 million for MARC Commuter Rail improvements to purchase 10 new diesel locomotives and add 2 weekday round trips on the Camden Line.County.
$52 million for MARC Commuter Rail improvements to purchase 10 new diesel locomotives and add 2 weekday round trips on the Camden Line.