The news earlier this month was not promising for the Purple Line. Incoming Gov. Hogan is skeptical of mass transit, favoring road projects. As David Albert discussed months ago, the governor of Maryland does have significant budgetary powers and could substantially stymie the project, albeit at the cost of federal matching funds. However, in the season of hope, there are reasons not to despair. Since the election, we've seen three important signals as to why the project is still alive and why the Governor-Elect may consider funding it:
- Developers and other business leaders from both Montgomery and Prince George's counties are making the economic case for why the Purple Line is important.
- In addition, the Chambers of Commerce for both counties wrote a letter saying why they think the project is vitally important.
- Federal funding for the Purple Line is included in next year's omnibus budget thanks to hard work from Maryland's congressional delegation.
The Governor-Elect has said he will make decisions about the Purple Line after his inauguration, likely within the next month or so. This coming period is a great time to let the transition team (firstname.lastname@example.org) know that you support the Purple Line. Purple Line Now has a sample letter up as well as links to a variety of facts about regarding the economic benefits of transit and the importance of our region. Emails from parts of Maryland other than Montgomery and Prince George's Counties are particularly valuable, so if that's where you live, be sure to mention that. Otherwise, this is a mass drive: the most important thing is to write polite supportive notes and to click send rather getting stuck on polishing. The emails we send won't by themselves carry the day, but they will show the firm popular foundation underlying the economic case.