Groundbreaking for the Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail line extending from Bethesda, in Montgomery County, to New Carrollton, in Prince George’s County, will take place before the end of the year in Prince George's County, which is already looking forward to its benefits.
The line is designed to link the Red, Green and Orange lines of the D.C. Metro system. Prince George’s County is looking forward to the benefits of the cross-county transit.
"Starting in New Carrollton, where we're already doing massive development, this will help to College Park, where we're building a brand new hotel and conference center,” said Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker (D). “And if we get the FBI, that would be an added bonus. It would be a feather in our cap."
However, the Purple Line will cause some pain to people in its path. The Riverdale Park Shell Station will be demolished, costing six employees their jobs.
“There’s going to be trouble for us,” said Miam Waim, co-owner of the Riverdale Park Shell Station. “Financial trouble, definitely.”
People who own businesses, buildings and homes near the Purple Line expect to see property values go up.
“Hopefully, (it will bring) more people in this area so we have to grow the business, make the building bigger,” said Daniel Gamez, a Riverdale business owner. “It’s going to be great.”
In Silver Spring, the Purple Line will require Wayne Avenue to be twice as wide as it now is to accommodate the Dale Drive station. Some Silver Spring homeowners will have some their front yards taken for the expansion.
Pedestrian safety is a concern for the students, but many residents are looking forward to using the Purple Line.
“It would be a way to actually connect us easier to Bethesda as opposed to taking them a 10 minute trip otherwise,” said Josh Walker.
The Purple Line is expected to start carrying passengers in about six years.