Hogan Md. victory worries light rail supporters

Hogan Md. victory worries light rail supporters
© Getty Images

Supporters of the Purple Line, a proposed light railway between Montgomery and Prince George’s counties in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C., are worried Gov.-elect Larry Hogan’s (R) surprise victory in Tuesday’s election will leave them seeing red. 

Hogan, who defeated outgoing Maryland Lieutenant Gov. Anthony BrownAnthony Gregory BrownBottom line House panel to take up 2002 war authorization repeal in 'coming weeks' Overnight Defense: Pentagon chief to press for Manchin's support on Colin Kahl | House Dems seek to limit transfer of military-grade gear to police MORE (D) by a surprisingly large margin, was noncommittal about the future funding of the proposed light railway a similar project in Baltimore during a post-election news conference on Wednesday. 

But the soon-to-be Republican Maryland governor said during the campaign that he was opposed to new light railways proposed in the Washington suburbs and Baltimore. 


“We're going to focus on building roads, and that's something this administration has not done," Hogan said in a pre-election statement, criticizing outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for raising gas taxes in Maryland, according to a September Baltimore Sun report

Supporters of the Purple Line have argued for years that building the light railway would make it easier to travel between Washington, D.C’s heavily populated east and west suburbs in Maryland. The 16-mile railway would run from Bethesda, Md., to New Carrollton, Md., connecting the outer reaches of the D.C. Metrorail's Red and Orange subway lines without having to travel through the nation’s capital. 

Maryland has spent nearly $170 million on the Purple Line, which is expected to cost $2.448 billion in total to build, according to a report in The Washington Post. The Obama administration also included $100 million for the project in its proposed 2015 budget earlier this year. 

The Red Line in Baltimore is estimated to cost another $2.6 billion. 

Progress on the light railways was already stopped once, when Maryland’s last Republican governor, Bob Ehrlich, was elected in 2002. Ehrlich focused Maryland’s transportation dollars on completing the Intercounty Connector, a highway that opened in 2011. 

O’Malley, who is thought to be considering a long-shot 2016 presidential bid, revived work on the Purple and Red line light railways when he took office in 2006. 

Hogan said Wednesday that he needed time to review the purposed projects, before he made a final decision. 

“We’re going to be talking about that during the transition,” Hogan said, according to reports.