A Purple Line train. Credit: Maryland Transit Administration

This story was updated at 5:35 p.m. to add a statement from a Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman and additional information about the exit of the Purple Line’s Communications Director.

The long-troubled Purple Line development is undergoing more change, as two key leaders, Executive Director Matthew Pollack and Communications Director David Abrams, are out at the Purple Line, a state transportation spokeswoman announced Friday.

The 16-mile light-rail line will extend from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. The line is owned by the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA).

Pollack wrote on LinkedIn that after three years of working as executive director, “it’s time to transition leadership of the Purple Line project over to the team that will take the project across the finish line.”

Abrams has not posted an update to LinkedIn about his employment status with the Purple Line. He joined the project in February 2022.

A spokeswoman with the Purple Line, Veronica Battisti, did not describe the circumstances of their departure. But said the Maryland Transit Administration will “promptly initiate a nationwide search for a new Executive Director for Transit Development and Delivery.”


According Battisti, Purple Line project director Ray Biggs II will continue to lead the project.

Pollack joined the Purple Line in June 2020, inheriting a project that has faced many challenges. Its history is rife with construction delays, spending over budget, contractors dropping out and a lack of communication with the public.

The $9.3 billion project is four and half years behind schedule, and by the projected time the line will be completed, construction would have lasted nearly a decade.


Construction began in 2016. The Maryland Transit Administration said the Purple Line is projected to be completed by 2026.

The idea behind the creation of the Purple Line is to provide reliable and rapid east-west travel and improve transportation options in the region.

The line will have 21 stations and will connect riders directly to local bus services, the Metrorail red, green and orange lines, as well as to Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton. It will also connect to Amtrak and MARC commuter rail stations.


Once completed, the Purple Line will be the first suburb-to-suburb rail line in the region.