Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, also known as Metro, could get a billion dollar grant from President Donald Trump’s budget to fund a purple line to Maryland.
The Metro is known as an overcrowded, constantly delayed and out-dated transit system, and is only now getting a massive overhaul after decades of operation.
“Supporters of the 16-mile light-rail project had worried that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) might scrap $900 million in grants requested for the line because the Trump administration had said it would fund only projects with ‘existing’ full-funding grant agreements,” The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
Former President Barack Obama’s administration was five days away from securing the purple line funding, until a federal lawsuit made it ineligible to receive federal money. Maryland officials kept on the judge to reverse his decision, but on Monday he “ordered that Maryland updates the project’s ridership projections, potentially adding months to a seven-month construction delay,” WaPo reported.
Maryland Democratic Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Benjamin L. Cardin both have continued to fight for the purple line, after Trump’s so called “skinny budget” was released in March, according to The Washington Post.
Maryland politicians are hopeful the project will stimulate the state economy.
“Let’s invest in a Metro system capable of bringing a majority of the federal workforce to work every day but also millions of our constituents to visit our nation’s capital,” Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin said to the Washingtonian.
“The good news is the Purple Line is recommended in this budget and specifically cited. The big issue is the lawsuit and resolving that as quickly as possible in a positive way,” said Van Hollen to the Washington Post.
Cardin weighed in on the Trump administration, saying, he “was pleased that the White House had agreed to ‘maintain the Purple Line funding eligibility while the legal challenges are resolved.’”