If the state of Maryland and Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) cannot reach a deal in the coming weeks, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will be looking for another investor to take on what is left of the Purple Line project in Maryland.
A second public-private partnership would help cover the remaining $1 billion of work, and the concessionaire also would be able to handle long-term operation and maintenance of the light-rail line.
The state has been exploring different ways it could finish the project since PLTP walked off the job two months ago. Several subcontracts are currently being handled by the state, but if Maryland were going to assume control of the Purple Line job it would have to find a way to pay for the remaining construction. Negotiations between Maryland and PLTP are still taking place.
Under a new public-private partnership, Maryland would pay off the private debt, cover the line’s costs and pay a profit to the companies as part of regular payments over the years.
According to Matthew Pollack, MTA’s executive director for project delivery, the state has chosen this route because the belief is there is interest from other parties to be part of the new partnership. Pollack would not say how much longer Maryland would try to strike a deal with PLTP.