Four teams comprised of some of the world’s biggest and best engineering and construction companies submitted their proposals to Maryland transit officials on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The proposals contained financial estimates detailing how much it would cost for them to design, build, operate, and maintain the light-rail Purple Line transit train project public officials have been planning, according to The Washington Post.
Due to the state’s procurement process specific details of each team’s individual proposals could not be obtained.
The project is expected to be a 35-year public-private partnership that will ultimately in a 16-mile transit line that would connect Bethesda in Montgomery County with New Carrollton in Prince George’s County inside the Capital Beltway. As of now there will be 21 total stations on the track.
The four team names, which each contain employees of multiple private companies, are as follows: Maryland Purple Line Partners, Maryland Transit Connectors, Purple Line Transit Partners, and Purple Plus Alliance.
The state’s plan is to have the winning team design and build the track over the course of five years, then operate and maintain it for the next 30. However, the Maryland Transit Administration would technically own the Purple Line and set fare rates.
The private companies would also help finance the costs of the project with the agreement that the state will pay them back over the course of the partnership.
Just as U.S. employers are taking longer, 25 working days on average, to fill vacant positions, the team selection process is taking some time. The teams submitted actual design proposals in mid-November and state officials don’t expect to start negotiations with a preferred team until January 15.
The final selection will then be made in February.
State officials hope that if all goes according to plan they will be able to get up to $900 million in federal grants so that construction will begin in 2016 and the trains will be running by 2021.