On April 6, 2016, the Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously approved the public-private partnership (“P3”) agreement for the Maryland Purple Line light-rail transit project, concluding the 30-day review period described in our previous blog.  The contract documents previously signed by the concessionaire have now been signed by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Secretary Pete Rahn and the Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA) Administrator, Paul Comfort.

At the Board of Public Works hearing, Comptroller Peter Franchot praised both the Governor and the project, stating that millennials will “flock” to live in the state because of this “national recognized project.”  Treasurer Nancy Kopp voted for the project based on assurances from MDOT regarding the nature of Maryland’s availability payment obligations under the P3 Agreement.  Governor Hogan – the third member of the Board – called the Purple Line Project a “giant step forward” for the State of Maryland.

The focus of attention now shifts to the concessionaire, Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), which is obligated to provide financing for the $5.6 billion project.  PLTP has scheduled financial close for early June, 2016.  PLTP’s financing plan includes a combination of equity commitments from PLTP, construction “progress” payments from MDOT and MTA sources, a loan from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “TIFIA” program and proceeds of private activity bonds to be issued by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (or “MEDCO”).  More information about the concessionaire team and sources of funding can be found in our previous blog.

The Purple Line is a 16.2 mile, 21 station light rail line providing connections to WMATA Rail stations as well as MARC commuter rail connections.  More information about the routing and interface with WMATA, MARC and Amtrak facilities can be found in our previous blog.