Maryland’s Purple Line faces uncertain future in 2017

WASHINGTON — As 2017 approaches, the future of the Purple Line is unclear, and at least one local leader is very concerned about the possibility of losing federal money for the project.

Last month, federal judge Richard Leon once again asked the Federal Transit Administration to study whether Metro’s safety and ridership problems would also affect ridership on the Purple Line.

The judge’s ruling has delayed Maryland’s plan to build the just over 16-mile-long light rail line between Bethesda and New Carrollton.

The new line would connect Metro’s Red, Green and Orange lines.

“I think Judge Leon acted really irresponsibly in holding up this project,” said Montgomery County Council member Nancy Floreen, who just ended her one-year term as Council President.

“Is the FTA going to come back to the court and say everything is copacetic? We hope so, but what will that judge do, and will there be further appeal?” she said.

Floreen said she also worries the delay could lead to a loss of federal money for the project.

If that happens, she says it could have “disastrous effects”.

“That’s bad news for Montgomery County. That’s another blow to our infrastructure needs,” she added.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter and anchor at WTOP.

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