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Washington D.C. – The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that its Build America Bureau has provided Purple Line Transit Partners with a low-interest loan of up to $1.76 billion for the Purple Line Light Rail Transit Project in Maryland.
The loan will finance up to 33% of the eligible project costs of $5.9 billion.
The Bureau assists communities across the country in completing infrastructure projects by providing Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans and other types of innovative financing.
The Purple Line, which is currently under construction, is a 16.2-mile, 21-station east-west light rail transit line that will run from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. Five major activity centers (Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma-Langley Park, College Park, and New Carrollton) will be linked to 16 other stations serving residential communities, commercial districts, and educational institutions.
Direct connections will be made to four branches of the existing Metrorail system, all three MARC commuter rail lines, and Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor line. The Capital Crescent Trail, which will benefit both bicyclists and pedestrians, will also be completed as part of the project.
“The Purple Line will provide faster, more direct, and more reliable transit service for the suburban Maryland and DC region’s residents and visitors while easing congestion on local roads,” – “By cutting an estimated 17,000 vehicle trips each day and operating using electric power, this project has tremendous environmental benefits as well.”
-Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg.
The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Maryland Transit Administration is collaborating with Purple Line Transit Partners on a Public Private Partnership Agreement (P3 agreement) to design, build, operate, and maintain the light rail system for the next 35 years.
The new loan replaces an earlier $874.6 million loan that was closed in June 2016.
“The much-anticipated Purple Line will serve areas that will benefit from associated economic development, while creating opportunities for transit-oriented development,” – “We worked closely with our partners to finalize this loan, which is an essential piece of the financing to move this critical project forward.”
-Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian.
During the Obama Administration, the Build America Bureau was established as a “one-stop shop” to assist states and other project sponsors with infrastructure projects. The Bureau provides low-interest, long-term credit programs, as well as technical assistance and best practices for project planning, financing, delivery, and operation.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, signed into law by President Biden in November 2021, broadens project eligibility for the Bureau’s TIFIA credit program and extends loan maturity, providing borrowers with greater flexibility. To date, the DOT has closed over $37.7 billion in TIFIA financings, supporting over $130 billion in infrastructure investment across the country.
About The Purple Line Rail Construction Project
The Purple Line, which will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton, is currently under construction.
Currently, the majority of the work being done is related to utility relocation, both overhead and underground, in order to make way for the Purple Line.
Excavation and construction of retaining walls, construction of the Plymouth Street Tunnel, construction of operation and maintenance facilities, and work on bridges such as the Lyttonsville Place Bridge and the Rock Creek Bridge are all ongoing.
The project’s construction phase is expected to last until 2026.
The Purple Line, like all major construction projects, will have an impact. To stay informed on construction activities the organization has setup a helpful, informative, website with information on upcoming activities. You can learn more about construction, detours and upcoming impacts here.
Support for local businesses and organizations located in the affected areas can find many resources and information by visiting their Business Engagement section here. In addition, companies and professionals, including Disadvantaged Business Enterprises can find out how to be procured and get involved in the building of this project with information located here.
The MDOT MTA is committed to delivering a DBE program that empowers and supports DBE firms for the Purple Line project. MDOT-certified DBE firms will be hired to provide valuable services during the design and construction phases of the project.
The MDOT MTA DBE program’s goals are as follows:
- Increase the participation of minority and women-owned businesses on the Purple Line project;
- Develop DBE communication and outreach programs that will acquaint DBE firms with Purple Line activities and subcontracting opportunities;
- Ensure that only eligible firms participate as DBEs;
- Support the Design-Builder’s efforts to help DBEs succeed and grow;
- Encourage eligible small, disadvantaged, minority and women-owned businesses to become MDOT certified DBEs, further expanding the pool of potential DBE firms for upcoming Purple Line subcontracting opportunities and teaming efforts; and
- Respond to DBE-identified and DBE-related concerns, needs, and inquiries.
Working with the Design-Builder to establish successful relationships with certified DBE firms and small and minority business advocacy groups in the project area will accomplish this.
The following are the DBE participation goals for the Purple Line project’s Design-Build period:
- 26% for Design Services
- 22% for Construction Services