Maryland Governor O’Malley is expected to announce today that the federal government has approved the Purple Line’s planning, and that Maryland will seek a private company to help pay for construction.
The idea is that a private company would pool its money together with state and federal funding to construct the Purple Line. The same company would then operate the line. In exchange, it would keep the fares, and Maryland would pay an annual contract fee.
With limited federal funds available, this type of public-private partnership is becoming common nationwide. D.C. is considering it for streetcars, but Denver offers a more instructive example.
In 2004, voters in Colorado passed a referendum for 122 miles of new rail transit in the Denver area. But the funding approved as part of that vote wasn’t adequate to build everything, so the transit agency had to find an alternate strategy. It has since approved two public-private partnerships, and are in the process of contracting a third.
[Continue reading Dan Malouff’s post at BeyondDC.]
Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at BeyondDC.com. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.