TRANSIT: New Md. DOT chief pushes transit projects

Pending gas tax increase could generate funding for long-awaited light rail, BRT projects

Transit News WTOP July 11, 2013
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In an interview with WTOP last week, new Maryland Transportation Secretary Jim Smith highlighted a series of congestion relief projects he intends to focus on during his tenure, including light rail and bus rapid transit.

 

With a 4-cent gas tax increase set to kick in in July, the department could draw as much as $800 million annually and $4.4 billion over the next six years. Smith stated that he’d like to see the money put toward a number of congestion relief projects that have been sitting in the pipeline for years, including the Purple Line light rail and the Corridor Cities Transitway (CCT).

 

The proposed Purple Line would cover a series of stops between Bethesda and New Carrollton, covering a total of 16 miles and integrating with other transit systems in the area. Officials have working to create a public-private partnership (P3) to help fund the project, which is currently scheduled to begin construction in 2015; on that timetable, service would begin in 2020.

 

The CCT would create a bus rapid transit (BRT) connector between the Shady Grove Metro station, the Metropolitan Grove MARC station and Clarksburg, bypassing I-270 and improving traffic conditions on the highway.

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