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Project Milestones. 2002-2008 MDOT MTA Studies a range of alignments and transit modes; 2008 Draft Environmental Impact Study; 2009 Light Rail selected as the mode of transit; alignment identified; 2009-2014 Conceptual and Preliminary Engineering Phase; 2013 MDOT MTA decides to use P3 to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Purple Line; 2013 FTA Accepts the Final Environmental Impact Statement; 2014 FTA Issues the Record of Decision; 2014 MDOT MTA Issues Request for Proposals for Purple Line P3; 2016 PLTP selected to complete design, build, operate and maintain the Purple Line; 2016-2022 Final Design and Construction; 2022 Purple Line Service Begins.

The Purple Line construction schedule is currently under review.

Below please find the project Logos. All uses must be approved prior to use.

If you have any questions, please direct them to .

Click here to download the style guide that describes the specific colors to be used.

 

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Light RailMetro
Can operate easily along commuter streets and be crossed by pedestrians and automobiles Must operate in exclusive right-of-way separate from pedestrian and street traffic
Powered by overhead contact system (OCS)  Powered by 3rd rail
 Modular train (all 1 piece) – 140 feet  Multiple car train (between 6 and 8 cars) – 75 feet per car

A traction power substation (TPSS) is an electrical substation that converts the electric power from the utility company (PEPCO) to the proper electrical voltage (1500 Volts DC) and frequency needed for the operation of the Purple Line trains.

The TPSS will be housed in a steel building similar in size to a car garage, 58 feet by 18 feet and will be fed by underground electrical feeds. It is similar in function to the transformer mounted on utility poles and supplies the power to the catenary wires of the light rail. There is a total of 10 TPSS along the Purple Line alignment; located approximately every two miles. The graphic below depicts a typical TPSS in comparison with the Purple Line light rail vehicle.

TPSS

The Purple Line project includes the completion of the Capital Crescent Trail (CCT) between Bethesda and Silver Spring, the completion of the Green Trail along Wayne Avenue to Sligo Creek, and the construction of a bike path through the University of Maryland campus. Each of the hiker/bikers paths as well as community connection to the Capital Crescent Trail are detailed below. For more information about Biking along the Purple Line, please see our Biking with the Purple Line handout.

Capital Crescent Trail

  • The interim trail built in the former Georgetown Branch railroad right-of-way which currently extends between Bethesda and Stewart Avenue in Lyttonsville will be replaced by a 12-foot paved trail with 2-foot buffers that extends all the way into downtown Silver Spring.
  • The trail will be paved and landscaped with new formal access points from local neighborhoods.
  • The completed trail will include trail bridges over Connecticut Avenue and Colesville Road, and underpasses at Jones Mill Road, 16th Street, and Spring Street; making a safer trail for the public.
  • The completion of the trail into downtown Silver Spring will be a major enhancement of the local trail network, linking the Capital Crescent Trail, the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the Green Trail.

Silver Spring Green Trail

  • The Silver Spring Green Trail along Wayne Avenue will be completed between Sligo Creek Trail and Fenton Street.
  • This multi-use urban trail will connect with the Capital Crescent Trail and the Metropolitan Branch Trail within the Silver Spring Transit Center property.
  • The trail will be an eight-foot-wide paved path with 2 foot shoulders along with lighting in the area of trail connections and landscaping.

University of Maryland Campus Bike Path

  • A new bike path will be built along the Purple Line route through the campus of the University of Maryland.
  • This path will provide better and safer facilities for the large number of cyclists and pedestrians on campus, encouraging this environmentally-friendly transportation.

Benefits

  • Reliable and rapid east-west travel
  • Connects to Metrorail Green and Orange lines and both branches of the Red Line
  • Supports community revitalization and transit-oriented development
  • Provides an environmentally friendly transportation option to help reduce auto-dependent travel
  • Connects people to jobs
  • Improves connectivity to the regional Metrorail system
  • Connects to commuter rails MARC, Amtrak, Metro and local and regional bus routes
  • Completes the Capital Crescent Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring, the Green Trail along Wayne Avenue to Sligo Creek trail, and a bike path through the University of Maryland Campus

Highlights

  • 16.2 miles
  • 1 short tunnel (Wayne Avenue to Long Branch)
  • 21 stations
  • 5 modular light rail vehicles spanning 140 feet per train
  • Comfortable, well-lit interiors
  • Quiet operations
  • Low floor for easy boarding
  • No fare gates at stations for faster access
  • On-board storage for bicycles
  • ADA compliant

Environmental Benefits

  • The Purple Line is estimated to take 17,000 cars off of the road daily, saving 1 million gallons of gas within 20 years.
  • Electric power means no air emissions into the immediate environment
  • Purple Line’s use of existing roadways minimizes effects on land and water resources

Community-Friendly Light Rail Transit

Light rail vehicles are modern streetcars, powered by overhead electrical wires.
Features include:

  • Low floors to allow passengers to board without climbing steps
  • Quiet operations
  • Neighborhood stations convenient for pedestrians and bicyclists

Purple Line light rail vehicles have been designed with special wheel profiles, noise dampening wheel skirts, and other noise reducing measures to ensure the train will not exceed 75 decibels on straightaways and 78 decibels on sharp turns.

The MTA prepared additional analyses of a number of topics. The results of these studies can be accessed below:

Prior to the construction of the Georgetown Branch Interim Trail, Montgomery County sought an administrative determination from the Federal Transit Administration on whether the creation of an interim trail would cause the Georgetown Branch right-of-way to be considered parkland under a federal law known as Section 4(f). The correspondence can be read below.

What does P3 stand for?

P3 is an industry abbreviation for a Public-Private Partnership. It is synonymous with the term “PPP”. The phrase “Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain” (DBFOM) is also used within the industry for the type of P3 that MDOT is planning to pursue for the Purple Line.

 

Does P3 make the Purple Line more expensive?

No. Despite the higher costs of private financing, MDOT forecasts that efficiencies gained by transferring risk to the private partner will make the project slightly less expensive than if it was delivered using conventional methods.

 

Does P3 reduce the need for State funding?

Yes. While MDOT is still responsible for upfront project development costs like preliminary engineering and right of way acquisition and for a portion of the capital cost, some of the capital cost will be financed by the private partner.

 

Is P3 the same thing as privatization?

No. The State will retain ownership of the Purple Line throughout the life of the contract and all assets will be the State’s to operate and maintain at the end of the contract.

 

What responsibilities will the State have?

The State will still pay for part of construction, provide oversight, set fares, and specify service levels. It can specify the general appearance of stations and other project elements, although providing proposers with more flexibility increases the potential for cost savings. The State also anticipates retaining responsibilities associated with federal environmental documentation, right of way acquisition, and quality assurance and oversight.

 

Has MDOT/MTA selected a private partner?

Yes, MDOT/MTA has selected Purple Line Transit Partners as the concessionaire for the Purple Line. More information about the partnership can be found here.

 

How did MDOT/MTA select a private partner for the Purple Line?

MDOT/MTA used a competitive and extensive solicitation process to select the Purple Line concessionaire. Bids were received from four world-class teams which were evaluated over a two month period.

 

How will the State compensate the private partner?

In return for operating and maintaining the project at a specific level of service along with financing a portion of the design and construction, the State will pay the private partner annual service payments (formally called “availability payments”) throughout an approximately 30 year operating period. Deductions will be made from these payments if the contractor does not meet pre-determined performance targets.

 

Where has the P3 approach been used for other rail projects?

This type of P3 approach is used extensively for rail projects in Canada and abroad. It has also been used for a rail transit project in Denver (known as the Denver Eagle P3 project).

 

Is there a precedent for P3s in Maryland and the Metro Washington Region?

In recent years, Maryland has successfully entered into two major transportation P3s: Seagirt and the I-95 Travel Plazas. In 2009, the Maryland Port Administration (MPA) and Ports America Chesapeake, LLC entered into a 50-year P3 agreement for redevelopment and long-term management of the Seagirt Marine Terminal at the Port of Baltimore. In 2012, the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) entered into a 35-year P3 agreement with Areas USA to redesign, rebuild, and manage Maryland House and Chesapeake House, the two Travel Plazas along I-95.

 

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Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) pursued an innovative solicitation approach for the Purple Line. This partnership with private industry, commonly referred to as a public-private partnership (PPP or P3), will promote the successful delivery of the Purple Line. On March 2, 2016, Governor Larry Hogan announced Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) as the Concessionaire for the Purple Line. PLTP is responsible for designing, constructing, operating, and maintaining the project, and the private partner will also help finance a portion of construction. MDOT MTA retains ownership of the Purple Line. The Concessionaire is comprised of three main teams:

  • Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) – responsible for the overall project, including financing and management of:
    • Purple Line Transit Constructors (PLTC) – responsible for the design and construction of the Purple Line.
    • Purple Line Transit Operators (PLTO) – will take over to operate and maintain the Purple Line for 30 years after completion.

P3 Flowchart from Top down: MDOT MTA (P3 Agreement) to Purple Line Transit Partners: Concessionaire (meridiam; Fluor; Star America) and Economic Empowerment Subcontractor (L.S. Caldwell & Associates) to Purple Line Transit Constructors: DB Contract – Lead Contractor (Fluor; Lane; Traylor) with Interface Agreement between O&M Contract: Lead Operations & Maintenance Firm (Fluor; ACI; CAF USA). Lead Contractor has lines down to Lead Design Firm (Atkins), Dedicated Subconsultant (Hatch Mott MacDonald; Rinker Design Associates [rda]), and Dedicated Subcontractors (CAF USA; M.C. Dean; Hensel Phelps; Interfleet Technologies).

The fully executed P3 contract is provided below. Web server limitations prevent us from listing all of the documents which are referenced or referred to within the documents on this page.

Settlement Agreement

  • Settlement Agreement and Mutual Release
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    1.24 MB
  • Mutual Release Agreement
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    897.09 KB
  • Second Amendment to Public-Private Partnership Agreement
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    782.13 KB

Executed Version

  • Public Private Partnership (P3) Agreement with Exhibits
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    38.11 MB
  • Technical Provisions Book 2 – Part 1
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    450.63 KB
  • Technical Provisions Book 2 – Part 2
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    4.48 MB
  • Technical Provisions Book 2 – Part 3
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    650.37 KB
  • Codes and Standards Book 3
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    313.49 KB
  • Contract Drawings Book 4 – Plans
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    209.05 MB
  • Contract Drawings Book 4 – Additional Plans
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    11.86 MB
  • Contract Drawings Book 4 – Right of Way Plans
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    200.84 MB

While Book 4 consists of the Contract Drawings referenced by the P3 Agreement, the Concessionaire will continue to work alongside MDOT MTA after award to further develop and complete the design as the project progresses.

  • Report to the Maryland General Assembly: Description of the Proposed P3 Agreement
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    963.99 KB
  • Appendix 1 – Risk Allocation
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    66.09 KB
  • Appendix 2 – P3 Agreement Policy Guide
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    112.81 KB

Announcements

  • News Release – P3 Announcement – March 2, 2016
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    60.55 KB
  • Gov. Larry Hogan Moves Forward With Cost-Effective Purple Line – June 25, 2015
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    187.34 KB
  • A Letter from Mike Madden, Purple Line Deputy Project Director – 2015
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    206.81 KB
  • Cost-Saving Measures
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    593.34 KB

This page provides a variety of maps detailing the Purple Line alignment.

Alignment Map

This is a map of the Purple Line project area showing all 21 stations.

Preview of Purple Line Alignment Map
Purple Line Alignment Map
Download pdf.png 618.74 KB

Transit Map

A simplified map showing the Purple Line and its connections to other regional transit systems.

Preview of Purple Line Transit Map
Purple Line Transit Map
Download pdf.png 113.3 KB

Aerial Maps

These give an aerial view of the Purple Line alignment. Zoom in to get an up-close look at the proposed Purple Line in your neighborhood.

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The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that will extend from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County. It will provide a direct connection to the Metrorail Red, Green and Orange Lines; at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton. The Purple Line will also connect to MARC, Amtrak, and local bus services.

The Purple Line will be powered by overhead wires known as a catenary system. As a transit system separate from Metro, it will operate mainly in dedicated or exclusive lanes, allowing for fast, reliable transit operations. Most of the alignment will be at the road way level, though short segments will be elevated or underground.

The Purple Line is owned by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA). In spring of 2016, MDOT MTA selected a private-sector partner, Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) to design, build, operate, and maintain the light rail system for 35 years.

MDOT MTA is the project lead, with the support and close coordination of a team that includes the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), and local municipalities in the project area.

Project Milestones. 2002-2008 MDOT MTA Studies a range of alignments and transit modes; 2008 Draft Environmental Impact Study; 2009 Light Rail selected as the mode of transit; alignment identified; 2009-2014 Conceptual and Preliminary Engineering Phase; 2013 MDOT MTA decides to use P3 to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the Purple Line; 2013 FTA Accepts the Final Environmental Impact Statement; 2014 FTA Issues the Record of Decision; 2014 MDOT MTA Issues Request for Proposals for Purple Line P3; 2016 PLTP selected to complete design, build, operate and maintain the Purple Line; 2016-2022 Final Design and Construction; 2022 Purple Line Service Begins.

The Purple Line construction schedule is currently under review.

Benefits

  • Reliable and rapid east-west travel
  • Connects to Metrorail Green and Orange lines and both branches of the Red Line
  • Supports community revitalization and transit-oriented development
  • Provides an environmentally friendly transportation option to help reduce auto-dependent travel
  • Connects people to jobs
  • Improves connectivity to the regional Metrorail system
  • Connects to commuter rails MARC, Amtrak, Metro and local and regional bus routes
  • Completes the Capital Crescent Trail between Bethesda and Silver Spring, the Green Trail along Wayne Avenue to Sligo Creek trail, and a bike path through the University of Maryland Campus

Highlights

  • 16.2 miles
  • 1 short tunnel (Wayne Avenue to Long Branch)
  • 21 stations
  • 5 modular light rail vehicles spanning 140 feet per train
  • Comfortable, well-lit interiors
  • Quiet operations
  • Low floor for easy boarding
  • No fare gates at stations for faster access
  • On-board storage for bicycles
  • ADA compliant

Environmental Benefits

  • The Purple Line is estimated to take 17,000 cars off of the road daily, saving 1 million gallons of gas within 20 years.
  • Electric power means no air emissions into the immediate environment
  • Purple Line’s use of existing roadways minimizes effects on land and water resources

Community-Friendly Light Rail Transit

Light rail vehicles are modern streetcars, powered by overhead electrical wires.
Features include:

  • Low floors to allow passengers to board without climbing steps
  • Quiet operations
  • Neighborhood stations convenient for pedestrians and bicyclists

Purple Line light rail vehicles have been designed with special wheel profiles, noise dampening wheel skirts, and other noise reducing measures to ensure the train will not exceed 75 decibels on straightaways and 78 decibels on sharp turns.

Light Rail Overview

Light RailMetro
Can operate easily along commuter streets and be crossed by pedestrians and automobiles Must operate in exclusive right-of-way separate from pedestrian and street traffic
Powered by overhead contact system (OCS)  Powered by 3rd rail
 Modular train (all 1 piece) – 140 feet  Multiple car train (between 6 and 8 cars) – 75 feet per car

A traction power substation (TPSS) is an electrical substation that converts the electric power from the utility company (PEPCO) to the proper electrical voltage (1500 Volts DC) and frequency needed for the operation of the Purple Line trains.

The TPSS will be housed in a steel building similar in size to a car garage, 58 feet by 18 feet and will be fed by underground electrical feeds. It is similar in function to the transformer mounted on utility poles and supplies the power to the catenary wires of the light rail. There is a total of 10 TPSS along the Purple Line alignment; located approximately every two miles. The graphic below depicts a typical TPSS in comparison with the Purple Line light rail vehicle.

TPSS