Purple Line supporters hope to convince Hogan rail project helps Md. families

WASHINGTON – Maryland Gov.-elect Larry Hogan has made clear he favors highway and road projects over mass transit.

But while some areas of the state could benefit from roads and highways, that’s not possible for inside-the-Beltway communities, says Montgomery County Council President George Leventhal.

“Inside the Beltway, in the Washington, D.C. region, we can’t build any more roads,” he told reporters Monday.

Instead Leventhal says, “in the very dense, built-up areas of our state, you’ve also got to go with mass transit.”

So in order to sell the Purple Line, the light rail project that would take riders from Bethesda to New Carrollton, Leventhal is applying the same test Hogan says he’d apply to projects or legislation he’d consider as governor. On Hogan’s campaign website, his campaign described his decision-making process this way:

“Every decision Larry Hogan makes as governor will be put to a simple test — will this law or action make it easier for families and small businesses to stay in Maryland, and will it make more families and small businesses want to come to Maryland?”

In the effort to keep funding for the $2.4-billion Purple Line alive, Leventhal argues that the light rail project meets Hogan’s criteria.

“Having first-rate schools, first-rate institutions of higher education and transportation infrastructure are exactly what families and businesses need to function, and stay and come to Maryland,” Leventhal says.

Leventhal says despite reports that Hogan may be inclined to kill the Purple Line, the effort to fund it would continue.

“We are not going to retreat. We need the Purple Line; it’s absolutely vital.”

Hogan will be sworn in Jan. 21. The Republican governor-elect has previously said he would not comment on actions he’ll take as governor until he takes office.

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Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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