Council's Shot: Projects Over $500 Million

Council's Shot: Projects Over $500 Million

August 7, 2002


Inner Purple Metro Line

The Council voted for the Inner Purple Line, predominantly at-grade light rail that would connect Bethesda and Silver Spring to Langley Park, the University of Maryland, College Park and New Carrollton. The Inner Purple Line, supported by the state of Maryland, would also include a spur connecting to the new Food and Drug Administration Facility in White Oak.

The Maryland Transit Administration estimates the cost of the Inner Purple Line to be $1.2 billion.

The majority of the Council voted in favor of the Inner Purple Line over the Outer Purple Line Hybrid, which was projected by the state to cost $5.3 billion — more than four times the cost of the Inner Purple Line — even though the two alternatives were comparable in terms of ridership figures and vehicles taken off the road.

County Executive Doug Duncan's initial Go Montgomery proposal was estimated to cost $10 billion, $4 billion of which was associated with the Outer/Inner Purple Line Hybrid. However the Maryland Transit Administration provided Council staff with cost figures for the Outer/Inner Hybrid the day before the vote, suggesting that the cost of Go Montgomery package would be closer to $10.8 billion, with $5.3 towards the Outer/Inner Purple Line. This estimate does not include the cost the Commonwealth of Virginia would have to cover for its four miles of the Outer Purple Line, stations, and additional rail cars to operate in its segment.

Corridor Cities Transitway

The Council unanimously approved this proposed light-rail line that would run down the I-270 corridor, connecting Clarksburg and Germantown with the Shady Grove Metro and the high-tech areas of Gaithersburg and Rockville.

Over 80 percent right-of-way for the 13.4-mile Corridor Cities Transitway alignment is already secured by dedication, public agency ownership, or future easement. Estimates from November 2001 Council documents estimate that the CCT would carry 44,650 riders, attract 33,700 riders to Metrorail, cost $61 million per mile and cost $11.65 per new rider.