My piece on the Purple Line is up.

Link here. Short version: the thing about the DC Metro Purple Line… well, it’s a regional Maryland thing. You actually would understand, but you might not care anyway. I kind of want it myself, but I recognize that there are some pretty good fiscal arguments against it.

3 thoughts on “My piece on the Purple Line is up.”

  1. I’m not an unbiased observer here — in my day job, I am an accountant for an engineering firm with hefty chunks of the action on both the Red and Purple Lines. That said, I think they’re both valuable projects that should go forward… although I will concede that they’re both right at the ragged edge of affordability. I personally think that the Red Line is being better managed, and is more likely to pay off in the long run, but the Purple Line is a much more visible project, and has a higher “what if lots of stuff goes *right*?” potential.
    I do *not* put a lot of weight on the idea that if they got cancelled, most of the state money would then flow to highways and bridges. There are complex issues with federal funding and the strings attached; while it isn’t *impossible* to kill one or both projects right now, there are financial consequences to doing so. That said, there are also financial consequences for continuing on. SHA (Maryland State Highway Administration) and MdTA (Maryland Transportation Authority) could certainly find a worthwhile use for all the money they can get their hands on, but they’ve already addressed a lot of the most serious issues. Many of the problem areas are in smaller jurisdictions that might or might not make good use of money from the state, and money from cutting the Red / Purple Lines wouldn’t be seen for years at that level.

    1. As I said, I’m more or less in favor of this myself. But somebody from, say, Hagerstown is going to be a lot less tolerant of that money getting spent on those projects.

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