Purple Line supporters are in Annapolis Thursday morning to provide Gov. Larry Hogan with a formal, engraved invitation to view the route of the planned light-rail line.
The move comes after the governor rode on a maglev train—a high-speed, experimental and very expensive train—in Japan while on a 12-day Asian trip. When the governor touted the maglev train as a progressive method of transportation to connect Baltimore and Washington, D.C., local transit advocates felt miffed that the governor would look into an experimental train technology when he hasn’t viewed the right-of-way for the Purple Line, one of the state’s largest proposed transportation projects.
Hogan’s communications director Matt Clark told The Baltimore Sun on June 4 the governor hasn’t viewed the Purple Line route because he hasn’t received an invitation to do so.
So this morning, members of the Montgomery-based Action Committee for Transit and Prince George’s Advocates for Community-Based Transit gathered in front of the statehouse to present the governor with a giant version of their engraved invitation.
“We didn’t think the governor needs an invitation to visit his own state,” Nick Brand, president of the Action Committee for Transit, said in a statement. “But we’re willing to go the extra mile here.”
The full invitation, in scripted letters, reads:
“Dear Governor Hogan,
We request the pleasure of your company in the State of Maryland.
We would be honored to accompany you on a tour of the Purple Line right-of-way between Bethesda and New Carrollton.
The Action Committee for Transit
Prince George’s Advocates for Community Based Transit”
Hogan has postponed until sometime this month his decision on whether to proceed with the 16-mile rail line, which would provide an east-west route between New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and Bethesda. Hogan has said the $2.45 billion project would be too expensive.
On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn recommended to the governor that he approve the Purple Line, if $300 million could be cut from the price of the project. The paper cited unnamed sources in the story.