I did not post earlier when the news that Hogan was going ahead with the Purple Line LRT, but canceling the Baltimore Red Line LRT, in part because it was a depressing result and a huge setback for a decent connected transit system in Baltimore. Since then, the Hogan administration has proceeded to shut down the Red Line project entirely, close the offices, drop the BaltimoreRedLine.com website, put the documents and plans into storage. Hogan's comments and actions to shift funds to road projects since the Red Line cancellation have demonstrated that he does not understand the value of a good transit system to a city and its economic vitality. He complained that the Red Line tunnel through downtown Baltimore was too expensive and then turns around and comments on how few people ride the slow street running isolated N-S light rail line. Simply doesn't get it. I hope for Baltimore's sake, that Hogan is a one term Governor.
I think the only reason Hogan went ahead with the Purple Line (PL) was due to the intense pressure brought by its backers, many of whom are politically connected Republican leaning developers, and that it is going to run in a more suburban setting. The ridership projections for the PL have a better foundation than the Baltimore Red Line because the PL will connect to the DC Metro at 4 stops and runs through the University of Maryland campus which will be a huge ridership generator. The proposed cuts to the PL design and scope to reduce costs are worrying, but most of them appear to be minor or cuts that can be fixed or corrected later.
The reason I'm posting is that there is news on the contract award schedule plans for the PL. Washington Post: Purple Line design and construction could begin May 16, state says.
Maryland transportation officials plan to choose a winning bid to design, build and operate a light-rail Purple Line by Jan. 15, and bidders should assume design and construction work could begin May 16, according to new bid solicitation documents released this week.
The dates included in a revised 2,075-page “request for proposals” sent to bidders Wednesday provides the most detailed project schedule since Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan ® announced June 25 that the state would build the 16-mile light-rail line if the state paid less, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties paid more, and the overall project was less costly.
I will be surprised if MD makes either date, but hopefully the project won't slip too much further.
The Greater Greater Washington blog posted a discussion with potential Metro maps about will the PL be incorporated into the WMATA Metro map. I'm sure it will be, but that decision is mainly up to the WMATA board with representatives from MD, DC, VA. Tweaking the layout of the current Metro map will necessary to fit in the PL, but it is not that hard to do. GGW: Will the Purple Line appear on the Metro map? Lots of comments on the blog, some thoughtful, some not so much.
The possible map/diagram that i think is pretty good has a thin PL with smaller station labels to flag it as light rail and not a directly connected part of the DC Metro system is this one: expanded PNG image link. Although the proposed map needs tweaks to the station label placement and details, it includes Phase 2 of the Silver Line (scheduled for completion in 2019) and the Potomac Yard in-fill station which could open in 2018. Shows a substantial and extensive Metro transit system for a US city that is not NYC.
BTW, perhaps this thread should be re-titled to reflect the course of events. How about: MD: Purple Line LRT survives, Baltimore Red Line canceled.