Chevy Chase Lake

A project of the Chevy Chase Land Company
Miti Figueredo, Project Contact, VP Public Affairs

Answering your questions about the Purple Line

Posted on by Lisa Fadden

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When we’re out in the community, we receive lots of questions about the Purple Line and how it impacts the planning we’re doing here at Chevy Chase Lake, I thought we’d take the opportunity to answer some of those questions today.

Who is building the Purple Line?

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) is leading the Purple Line project.  The MTA is a state agency, a division of the Maryland Department of Transportation. The Chevy Chase Land Company does not in any way participate in the design or construction of the Purple Line.

Who determined that there would be a stop at Chevy Chase Lake?

The Maryland Transit Administration, as part of their initial Purple Line studies determined that Chevy Chase Lake would be an appropriate stop given its distance from Bethesda and Silver Spring and the guidelines regarding how often stops should occur on a light rail line.  In general, stations are placed where there is more activity (shops and offices), or where there you can transfer from other transit services like Metro or local buses.

Is the Purple Line “Approved”?

The Purple Line is currently going through a federal funding process called the “New Starts” Process.  “New Starts” is a program of the federal government that determines what large scale transit projects nationally have the best chance of being successful based on a variety of factors, including ridership, economic development potential  and environmental factors. 

There are several steps or phases within the Federal Funding Process.  Right now, the project is in a critical step called “preliminary engineering” where engineers delve deeper into the details of the design process.

Purple Line Funding Process

Federal New Starts Project Development Process

While the Purple Line is “approved” by the State government with a locally preferred alternative route selected, it won’t be built until the project completes the federal approval process and both the Federal government and State government appropriate dollars for construction.

If the project stays on schedule, construction would begin in 2015 and be completed in 2020.

Is the Purple Line project competitive with other projects nationally?

When the Purple Line entered preliminary engineering, it received a “Medium High” rating from the federal government, putting it in the top tier of transit projects nationally.

What will happen to the Capital Crescent trail?

The permanent trail will run parallel to the Purple Line.  As it goes through the Chevy Chase Lake area, the trail is on the North Side of the Purple Line station and includes a buffer between the light rail and the trail.  For most of its length the trail will be on the north side of the light rail and 3-4 feet higher than the rails. The trail will be paved and will include landscaping and other amenities. The permanent trail will connect and complete the Capital Crescent Trail all the way into downtown Silver Spring.

Have questions for the Maryland Transit Administration about the Purple Line? Visit their website at


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