Maryland light rail P3 names adviser

The ‘National Capital Purple Line,’ a $2.5bn light rail project in Maryland, has been contracted to BMO Capital Markets.

US mid-Atlantic state Maryland has named BMO Capital Markets transaction adviser for part one of a greenfield light rail transit (LRT) project, confirmed Terry Owens, a spokesman with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).

The proposed 16-mile ‘National Capital Purple Line’ is a potential multi-billion dollar public-private partnership (PPP; P3) and the first installment of a two-part LRT project kicked off following the April enactment of the ‘Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013’.

The Act let ‘The Old Line State’ use P3s to procure surface transportation projects. The MTA in May released a request for information (RFI) for private sector input, selecting financial services firm BMO. A request for comment emailed to the BMO media office did not get a response.

The Purple Line has been listed as a $2.5 billion P3, while a corresponding light rail project, named the ‘Baltimore Red Line,’ has been valued at $1.8 billion by the MTA.

The Purple Line would fall within the ‘Capital Beltway’ or Interstate 495 (I-495) from New Carrolton, Maryland, to Bethesda. Marylandd. The Red Line is a proposed east-west rail line in Baltimore, the largest city in Maryland.

Owens said the Administration has not appointed a transaction adviser for the Red Line.

“No decisions have been made on the Red Line,” Owens wrote in an e-mail.