Developers should pay for the proposed Purple Line, not Md. motorists

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.

Advocates are planning to ask the Maryland legislature to increase the gasoline tax to fund this boondoggle. If Maryland and the O'Malley administration want to go forward with the Purple Line, the funding should come from the primary beneficiaries of the project — he major commercial interests and developers along the Purple Line right-of-way — not from an increase in the regressive gasoline tax.

Keith Belton, Millersville

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