(Washington, D.C. - WAMU) Local officials are asking Maryland's Department of Transportation not to divert funding from the Purple Line, the proposed light rail line that would connect Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
The agency is considering reallocating $41 million dollars in Purple Line design funding to other sources if state lawmakers fail to pass a transportation revenue increase in this legislative session. The move would put the rail project on hold, which would be "unacceptable," according to Montgomery County Council President Nancy Navarro. She sent a letter voicing her concerns to MDOT's acting secretary this week.
"Montgomery County, specifically, is relying on these projects to continue our economic development strategies through our different redevelopment projects," Navarro says. "Many of the redevelopment projects that we have already adopted, all the master plans that we have adopted will mostly likely not be realized."
MDOT agrees, says agency spokesman Jack Cahalan -- which is why it believes the legislature should approve more money.
"The bottom line is, without a revenue increase, the state will simply not have the money to construct any new highway or transit projects," says Cahalan. "That's the reality."
The 16-mile Purple Line carries a $2.4 billion dollar price tag. Montgomery County officials say engineering funding for the Corridor Cities Transitway, a proposed bus rapid transit system, is also on the line.