Design work on a light-rail Purple Line and a dedicated express bus route in the Interstate 270 corridor would stop after June 30 if the Maryland General Assembly does not approve a state transportation tax increase, according to state budget plans.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s recently released six-year capital budget would reallocate $41.6 million in final design money for the proposed Purple Line and $17.2 million in preliminary engineering funds for the proposed Corridor Cities Transitway if no state transportation-related tax increase passes. The 16-mile Purple Line would run between Bethesda and New Carrollton. The 15-mile Corridor Cities Transitway would provide an express bus link between the Shady Grove Metro station and upper Montgomery.
Word that both projects might be put on hold after this fiscal year caught local transit advocates by surprise and prompted the Montgomery County Council to protest the plan in a letter Wednesday to the acting Maryland transportation secretary, Darrell B. Mobley.