The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) received notice that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has advanced the Purple Line project to the engineering phase of its New Starts grant program. This action is a key milestone toward securing federal funding for the project and beginning construction next year.

Entry into the New Starts Engineering phase is the final milestone required before FTA can sign a Purple Line Full Funding Grant Agreement. With this achievement, MTA can start to incur costs that are eligible for federal reimbursement.

Last March, FTA gave the Purple Line project a Medium-High rating and recommended the Purple Line receive a total of $900 million, including $100 million in FY 2015.

The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail line that runs east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County with 21 stations planned that will provide direct connections to Metrorail’s Orange Line, Green Line and two branches of the Red Line, and the MARC Brunswick, Camden and Penn Lines.

The Purple Line will go to construction in 2015 and be open for service 2020.

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