Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Citing Metro, court ruling on Purple Line could set back construction

A map of the proposed Purple Line that would run from Bethesda to New Carrollton.

A map of the proposed Purple Line that would run from Bethesda to New Carrollton.

WASHINGTON  — A federal judge has canceled government approval of the light-rail Purple Line, citing ongoing problems with Metrorail.

A U.S. District Court judge said in a ruling Wednesday that Maryland must do another study projecting anticipated Purple Line ridership that takes into account the potential impact of declining Metrorail ridership and safety issues.

The judge cited “extraordinary events involving seemingly endless Metrorail breakdowns and safety issues” in his ruling.

Construction of the 16.2-mile Purple Line, to connect Bethesda to College Park, was scheduled to begin late 2016. It’s unclear whether Leon’s decision will delay construction. However, during a June hearing, MTA and federal government attorneys said refiguring the ridership forecasts could push back the project by six months.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn says the state will appeal the ruling.