Purple Line Facts

Here's a reminder of the Purple Line basics.

It was announced today that the Purple Line light rail is set to . It's been a little while since we've heard about the project, so here's a reminder of the basics:

  • Length: 16.3 miles
  • 21 stations
  • Four connections to existing Metrorail system (Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park, New Carrollton
  • No new park and ride lots
  • Frequency of service: six minutes peak headway; 10 minutes off-peak headway
  • One-way travel time-Bethesda to New Carrollton: 56 minutes
  • 55 light rail vehicles
  • Average daily ridership in 2030: 60,000
  • 30% of riders will use Metrorail for part of their trip
  • 20,000 new daily transit trips
  • Capital cost $1.9 billion (Year of Expenditure dollars)
CP Resident October 07, 2011 at 11:01 PM
You forgot some key facts: - "Purple Line" is an intentionally deceptive misnomer - it is not in fact going to be part of Metro. When you get to a Metro station on the light rail, you'll have to exit the light rail system, walk to the Metro station, and go through their turnstiles. - The light rail cars will largely run with traffic, causing further traffic delays - The Purple Line will not remove many cars from roads. It will simply offer current bus users a slightly quicker way to get where they are going, while increasing traffic for the rest of us. - The purple line will increase crime in the areas it serves (don't believe me? Look at crime around Metro stations.) - The ridership figures posted above are greatly exaggerated. - Along the route (which will be largely along existing roads) will be strung a network of ugly overhead wires. - Look for that $1.9 billion figure to at least double if not triple by the time it's all done. Also, 56 minutes from Bethesda to New Carrollton? That's hardly something to boast about - I can do that today in my car in less time than that, and have the convenience of parking exactly where I'm going. In short, nobody with a car is going to ride the Purple Line - yet those of us with cars are going to be saddled with the ultimate cost, when the government can't figure out how to pay for it and ends up raising the gas tax.
Donald James October 08, 2011 at 12:35 AM
In case you didn't know. The gas tax doesn't fully pay for roads, because it hasn't been raised in about 20 years or so. The cost to build and maintain roads far exceeds the money to pay for them. So in the end....people without cars subsidize roads as well. Especially foolish roads like the ICC that has bankrupted the transportation fund.
CP Resident October 08, 2011 at 03:01 AM
The most foolish thing about the ICC is that it wasn't built 40 years ago (it would be paid off by now.) Instead, environmental groups abused the legal system to drag out the process for decades, resulting in the mostrosity we have now: a highway with incredibly high tolls, both because it ended up costing so much, and by the time it was actually built it was undersized, so if it was free it would be gridlocked (much like the neglected beltway.) You're right, the gas tax hasn't been raised - but look at tolls on the tunnels and bridges in this state and see where they're headed. We are not making road transit a priority in this state, and siphoning off money for poorly planned (but politically popular) transit projects is not going to help.
Richard October 08, 2011 at 01:17 PM
CP Resident and Mr. James both have good points. The Purple line probably won't help much as it is a bus on rails. The Metro works well because it is completely separated from the road ways and does not interfere with car and truck traffic. Another thing to point out is the overly optimistic completion date and budget. These are always exceeded. Consider the just the lawsuits that will appear to keep these line out of peoples back yards. As for the gas tax, it would be interesting to audit the state as to where the tax money goes. Maryland has one of the higher taxes in the union at 23.5 cents per gallon vs. the federal tax at 18.4 cents per gallon. In 1998 congress authorized the Transportation Equity Act after it was pointed out that there were huge unspent funds from the federal gas tax. Just like any government, these funds were put into the general fund to pay for other programs. I wonder if Maryland is doing the same.
Zac May 31, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Is CP Resident a resident troll on here? Wow....


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