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Purple Line study areaPurple Line

Design is currently underway for the Purple Line, a proposed 16-mile light rail line with 21 stations, which will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton and provide direct connections to Metrorail, local and inter-city bus, the MARC train and Amtrak. An east-west route connector for Montgomery and Prince George's counties, the Purple Line has been under study since 1992. The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is the lead agency for the Purple Line project. On August 5, 2013, Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the Purple Line would be designed, built and operated by a private firm. Ridership forecasts for 2040 exceed 74,000 for a typical weekday. The total estimated capital cost is $2.2 billion.

View the proposed Purple Line full route map.

New! Purple Line Mandatory Referral Amendment – Silver Spring Transit Center

The MTA Office of Transit Development and Delivery has submitted a Purple Line Mandatory Referral Amendment related to the Purple Line alignment and platform location at the Silver Spring Transit Center Station. This modification to the plan reviewed by the Planning Board on March 20, 2014 involves a change that will result in (1) the Purple Line alignment crossing Colesville Road at a different angle and (2) the placement of the station platform on the north side of the Silver Spring Transit Center (at the third level adjacent to the kiss-and-ride drop-off) instead of the south side nearer to the Metrorail and MARC/CSX tracks located at an elevation approximately 80’ above Colesville Road. There is no change to the Capital Crescent Trail in the vicinity of the Silver Spring Transit Center.

This amended plan for the Purple Line alignment and station location at the Silver Spring Transit Center will continue to be refined as Preliminary Design for this change progresses through the balance of this calendar year.

The Planning Board is scheduled to review the amended plan at its June 16, 2016 meeting. More information, see the plans on the Planning Department’s web site.

Purple Line Mandatory Referrals

maps a linkThe Montgomery County Planning Board held a public hearing on the mandatory referrals for the Purple Line, the Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance, the Capital Crescent Trail, and the Silver Spring Green Trail on Thursday, March 20, 2014. The Planning Board reviewed the four projects and forwarded comments to the Maryland Transit Administration, the Maryland State Highway Administration, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, and the Maryland Department of Transportation. In an effort to assure compatibility with communities and businesses along the right of way, many of the recommendations concern ways to improve station access for pedestrians and bicyclists, enhance urban design along the corridor, reduce environmental impacts, mitigate impacts to parkland, and improve transitions along the Capital Crescent Trail.


Purple Line Functional Plan

Purple Line Functional Plan cover The Purple Line Functional Plan was adopted by the County Council in September of 2010, and includes, a series of recommendations for the proposed transit line’s route, mode and stations.   Download the approved and adopted Purple Line Functional Plan (pdf, 17MB).
NOTE: The many graphics in the plan result in a download time of about five minutes; consider downloading section 1 (pdf, 9.9MB) and section 2 (pdf, 8.7MB) separately.

Purple Line Related Projects

Project Schedule

Key future milestones, according to the latest project schedule, include the following:

  • 2016-2021 Final Design and Construction
  • 2022 – Purple Line Service Begins

M-NCPPC staff contacts

Tom Autrey, Transportation Planning

David Anspacher, Transportation Planning

Date of last update: April 21, 2014