Sunday, June 29, 2008

What Is the Purple Line? - Maryland Transit Administration

in the Washington Post, June 29, 2008

· The line is a proposed 16-mile east-west rapid transit line extending inside the Capital Beltway from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County.

· It would operate mostly at street level.

· It would connect the major central business districts and activity centers of Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma/Langley Park, the University of Maryland at College Park and New Carrollton.

· The Purple Line would provide direct connections to Metrorail at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton, linking branches of the Red, Green and Orange lines.

· It would also connect to all three MARC lines, Amtrak and local bus routes.

· Twenty-one station locations are being evaluated.

· A hiking and biking trail is included along the old Georgetown Branch railroad line and CSX/Metrorail corridors.

· The line would provide a direct link to the state's primary university and largest employer in Prince George's, U-Md.
What Will the Purple Line Be?

· Either light rail (LRT) or bus rapid transit (BRT).

· It would not be a Metro line, but it would be integrated with Metrorail.

· A BRT system has permanent stations; large buses that look and feel like a rail car; and can operate on streets with traffic, in dedicated lanes or on a separate right of way.

· An LRT system is an updated streetcar line that operates on tracks with overhead wires; has permanent stations; and can run on roads in mixed traffic, in dedicated lanes or on a separate right of way.

· The cheapest bus rapid transit option would cost $420 million to $460 million, attract up to 40,000 trips daily and take 66 minutes to travel between Bethesda and U-Md., according to projections. At as much as $1.27 billion, the cheapest light rail line would have up to 59,500 trips daily and take 38 minutes for the same trip.

SOURCE: Maryland Transit Administration

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