The Purple Line Gets the Nod from Obama

Artist's conception of the exterior of the Purple Line station at Riverdale Park. (Courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration)

Artist’s conception of the exterior of the Purple Line station at Riverdale Park. (Courtesy of the Maryland Transit Administration)

President Obama has recommended building the Purple Line, a light-rail line that would pass through Riverdale Park and the University of Maryland campus.

In a proposed budget released this week, Obama included $100 million as a first payment toward the $900 million Maryland is seeking from the federal government, according to the Washington Post:

“It’s absolutely fundamental,” Ralph Bennett, president of the Purple Line NOW advocacy group, said of the federal funding. “It means the feds are in for their first major piece of their share. . . . This is just a fantastically positive sign.”

The Purple Line still needs federal environmental approval, which would allow the Maryland Transit Administration to begin condemning private property needed along the route. Building the line would require condemning 116 homes and businesses, according to the state’s environmental impact study.

The president’s budget is mostly symbolic, but the inclusion of money for the Purple Line is a sign that the project is on track to get federal approval.

The project will still need to overcome concerns from environmentalists and a potential lawsuit from the town of Chevy Chase, however.

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