The first phase of the Purple Line is in Maryland from Bethesda to New Carrollton, with stops including Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Langley Park, Riverdale, and University of Maryland. Another important connection could tie Alexandria with National Harbor, Oxon Hill and Branch Avenue in Prince Georges County. To date, Virginia officials have failed to pursue the Purple Line with connections between Springfield, Annandale, Merrifield, Tysons Corner, and Montgomery County, but Fairfax recently met with Montgomery about transit connections at the American Legion Bridge and is also studying new transit networks for the county.
Why Does the Purple Line Matter?
It offers a fast and high quality public transit alternative for suburb-to-suburb travelers. It would take cars off local roads and the Beltway, relieve the burden of traffic congestion and help curb greenhouse gas emissions. Even conservative estimates for Purple Line ridership demonstrate strong demand for the line.
Transit-oriented development near new Purple Line rail stations would also promote the revitalization of inner-suburban neighborhoods. By focusing development in inner-Beltway communities through a connected network of high quality transit stations, we can anchor our older communities, enhance property values, and bring new housing and business opportunities to underserved parts of the region. A high quality light rail line will foster job growth in Silver Spring and Prince Georges County, connect workers to jobs in Bethesda and the Red Line Corridor and reduce traffic growth.
While the new high quality transit connection is a great opportunity for communities along the route, it can also pose challenges by pushing up housing and commercial space price that could lead to displacement. We are working with a variety of stakeholders in Langley Park, which will host two new Purple Line stations, to ensure that investment in the community benefits existing residents and small businesses.
CSG’s Participation in the Maryland Purple Line NOW! Campaign
The Coalition for Smarter Growth works actively with regional partners to coordinate advocacy campaigns that support sustainable development patterns. Our involvement in the Purple Line NOW! coalition at a critical point in the study process helped to rally residents’ support at hearings, submit public comments and sign onto petitions. We have testified in strong support of the Purple Line before state and local decision makers, citing all of the economic, social and environmental benefits.
The Maryland Transit Administration is completing the required studies of the project. The next step is to secure local, state and federal funding. To follow the progress of the Purple Line and to receive action alerts on how you can support it, please sign up for our action alerts, and we will make it easy for you to contact your elected officials.
For more information on the Purple Line, visit purplelinenow.com.