Purple Line Hits Road Block

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon ruled yesterday that the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) provide updated ridership forecasts for the Purple Line, to account for Metro’s deterioration and declining ridership. According to the Washington Post,

Leon said he couldn’t ‘turn a blind eye to the recent extraordinary events involving seemingly endless Metrorail breakdowns and safety issues.’

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) argued that any lapses attributable to Metro did not affect the Purple Line analysis, because the Purple Line will be owned and operated by a separate entity than Metro. While it is unclear whether this ruling will delay the Purple Line ground-breaking scheduled to begin this fall, attorneys for MTA and FTA argued that reevaluating the ridership forecasts could delay the project by six months and potentially compromise its public-private partnership.

The State plans to appeal the ruling. Meanwhile, MTA officials have cancelled a Monday event where there were anticipated to announce the signing of the Full Funding Grant Agreement with FTA.