The controversial light-rail project that will connect Bethesda and New Carrollton via Silver Spring has received the go-ahead from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to enter the Preliminary Engineering (PE) phase.
The Maryland Transportation Administration (MTA) will move forward with detailed specifications and plans for the 21-station system. The 16.3-miles Purple Line is expected to have a total project cost of $1.9 billion. It would take about an hour to travel from Bethesda to New Carrolton via the system.
The project is one of several mega competing transit projects in the Baltimore-Washington area either under construction or close to breaking ground. In Baltimore, the east-west Red Line light-rail system that will tunnel through the Inner Harbor already received FTA approval. Northern Virginia is building a new Heavy-Rail Metro line that will be an above ground travel through Tysons Corner and end at Dulles airport. The final phase of the $3 billion ICC's is still under construction and another planned light rail system called the Corridor Cities Transitway is still in preliminary works for travel from Shady Grove to Germantown in Montgomery County.