Thank you, good morning.
Secretary Rahn, thank you.
I want to thank our county executives, the members of our federal delegation, and especially Secretary Chao, whom you will hear from in just a few moments.
Along with all of our other distinguished guests who helped make today possible, I am pleased to be here to celebrate this exciting, long-anticipated achievement for Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties, the National Capital Region, and the State of Maryland.
More than two years ago, I announced that our administration would be moving forward with an innovative, cost-effective plan for the Purple Line, a long-term investment to connect New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Bethesda in Montgomery County.
With a 16-mile, east-west light rail line that includes 21 stations, the Purple Line project will be an important economic driver for Maryland.
It will integrate seamlessly with our current transit systems combining Metro, Marc, and Amtrak to provide more transit options across the region.
Just the construction alone will mean thousands of new jobs for Marylanders.
The Purple Line will be a transformative, long-term asset to our state.
Getting to today and being ready to build the Purple Line depended on several deliverables.
First, we needed increased local investment. I want to thank Montgomery County and Prince George’s County for partnering to invest $330 million toward this vital project.
Second, building the Purple Line depended on proposals from our partners in the private sector that met our vision for a more efficient and cost-effective project, which allowed us to save $550 million for the taxpayers.
And the final critical component we needed to get this project underway was the availability of $900 million in federal funds. I want to thank Secretary Chao and our partners in Washington as well as Maryland’s congressional delegation for their strong support. We have been one team Maryland, and together, we have successfully secured this important federal funding.
Now that we have finally cleared this last final hurdle, immediately after this ceremonial signing of the funding agreement, we will actually begin construction of the Purple Line today in just a few moments.
This multi-billion-dollar infrastructure project is a big win for the State of Maryland and will be a major benefit to the National Capital Region.
It is a shining example of what can be accomplished when our federal, state, county, and private sector partners work together.
Thank you again to everyone involved in making today possible.
We are fully committed to the future of Maryland transportation, and we will continue to find the most cost-effective ways to rebuild and improve our state’s transportation infrastructure systems.
The Purple Line is just one more way that, together, we truly are changing Maryland for the better.