Purple Line goes to Hogan in May

WASHINGTON — Maryland transportation officials say Gov. Larry Hogan will get options about the future of the Purple Line in mid-May.

Four private companies vying to build and operate the light-rail line from Bethesda to New Carrollton will take 60 days to find ways to cut costs, The Washington Post reported.

The Maryland Transit Administration also will study ways to save money on the project.

Some options include longer times between trains or limiting service in off-peak hours.

Acting Transportation Secretary Peter Rahn will take the suggestions, then make a formal recommendation in May.

Rahn recently announced the deadline for submitting bids to build and operate the line would be extended to Aug. 19. It was originally due in January, then pushed back to March before the latest announcement.

So far, cost-cutting is the only option being explored. Asked whether killing the project has been discussed yet, Rahn spokeswoman Erin Henson said it hadn’t.

For now, that’s good news for transit advocates such as the Coalition for Smarter Growth and the Action Committee for Transit. Fears that the project would be dead on arrival have not come to fruition — yet.

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