A favorable decision by the FTA would permit MTA to begin final engineering on the Red Line and move forward with acquiring property needed for construction.
It is expected that the FTA will issue its Record of Decision by March 1, 2013, following a 45-day public review period ending January 28. The FTA is reviewing the document under expedited procedures previously announced by the Obama Administration.
"Today marks a critical milestone that keeps the Red Line on track to break ground in early 2015," said MTA Administrator Ralign Wells. "The Red Line is a key component in our plans to double transit ridership in Maryland, while creating thousands of new jobs. This development brings us one step closer to realizing that goal."
The Red Line is estimated to cost $2.5 billion. The 14.1-mile light-rail line will have 19 stations between Woodlawn, Downtown Baltimore and Johns Hopkins Bayview; five of the stations are underground from the University of Maryland Biopark to Fell's Point. Expected ridership by 2035 is more than 50,000 passengers per day. The project is estimated to create 9,800 direct construction and related jobs during the six-year construction period.