Transportation Sec.-designate Pete K. Rahn said he is exploring ways to reduce the cost of two multi-billion rail transit projects.
Rahn, in his confirmation hearing Monday, told the Executive Nominations Committee that he has delayed the submission date for plans related to the Purple Line in order to give four competing groups an opportunity to see how they can bring in the same lightrail project at a lower cost.
Rahn said he is not looking to change the alignment or length of the proposed Purple Line project that stretches from Prince George’s County to Montgomery County but is interested in “what can we do that will reduce costs and deliver a good transportation product for the region.”
Rahn said he tasked the four bidding groups to look at ways of reducing both the construction and maintenance costs as well as how the state might be able to reduce its contributions to the project.
“The same processes will be used with the Red Line,” Rahn said.
As a result, Rahn said the four bidding groups asked for a delay in the deadline for delivering plans for the project from March to August 19.
Rahn the responses for both the Purple and the Red Line, which runs from east Baltimore to western Baltimore County, will determine how the state proceeds.
“These will be the facts we bring to the governor,” Rahn said. “We’re trying to find out how we can deliver these projects.”
Rahn said no decisions on the fate of either project have been made.
“We’re keeping an open mind,” Rahn said.