By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA

A federal district court March 5 struck down the latest attempt of a handful of suburban Maryland anti-growth advocates to block the Purple Line light-rail project from being developed near their back yards. The project survived an earlier three-year legal challenge by the same opponents.

The latest complaint alleged that federal funding for construction will deplete limited resources for existing transit systems, such as the Washington, D.C. Metro. However, the court stated “unfortunately for plaintiffs, this second attempt to stop the Purple Line fares no better than their first,” noting the project opponents failed to establish standing to sue and characterizing their arguments as “wholly conclusory.”

With ARTBA’s support, the 16-mile Purple Line between Bethesda and New Carrolton, Maryland, secured $900 in federal funding toward the $6 billion project. It is one of the nation’s largest public-private partnership (P3) transit projects.