USDOT finalizes $1.76 billion TIFIA loan for Maryland Purple Line project

April 15, 2022
The loan replaced a 2016 loan agreement and will finance up to 33 percent of the eligible project costs.

Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Purple Line Transit Partners, LLC (PLTP), have closed on a new $1.76 billion Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Build America Bureau.

The loan for the 16.2-mile Purple Line Light Rail Transit Project in Maryland was originally announced in early March and replaces a previous TIFIA loan that closed in 2016.

“The much-anticipated Purple Line will serve areas that will benefit from associated economic development, while creating opportunities for transit-oriented development,” said Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian. “We worked closely with our partners to finalize this loan, which is an essential piece of the financing to move this critical project forward.”

The new TIFIA loan will finance up to 33 percent of the $5.9 billion in eligible project costs for the 21-station line that will connect Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.

“The Purple Line will provide faster, more direct and more reliable transit service for the suburban Maryland and D.C. region’s residents and visitors while easing congestion on local roads,” said USDOT Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg. “By cutting an estimated 17,000 vehicle trips each day and operating using electric power, this project has tremendous environmental benefits, as well.”

The project is expected to open in 2026 and construction is currently underway with a new contractor. The project is being delivered under a Public Private Partnership Agreement between MDOT MTA and Purple Line Transit Partners, which will design, build, operate and maintain the light-rail system for 35 years.

The line will provide a reliable east-west transit route and connect to several Metrorail lines, commuter rail lines, local and regional bus routes, as well as complete the Capital Crescent Trail supporting bicyclists and pedestrians.

In addition to the TIFIA loan, the project was awarded a $900 million grant through the Capital Investment Grants Program in 2017.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.