Maryland gubernatorial race pits BRT against light rail

Incumbent pushes for light rail; contender BRT is more practical

The $1.5 billion project as O’Malley envisions would use light rail to move commuters between New Carrollton and downtown Bethesda, with stops in between including Silver Spring, Takoma Park and the University of Maryland at College Park.

Ehrlich says during his administration he could see less costly rapid bus service along roughly the same route as just being more viable. He later added that buses could also potentially be an alternative to light rail for Baltimore’s Red Line project, which would go from the Woodlawn area in Baltimore County to Johns Hopkins Bayview medical campus in East Baltimore.

Ehrlich made the comments while speaking to small-business owners.

An O’Malley campaign spokesman dismissed Ehrlich’s comments as being out of touch, wanting to take the  state back to the days when “the interests of private golf courses were put ahead of the interests of Maryland’s families.”

The reference was to previous comments by Ehrlich sympathetic to the Columbia Country Club, located off Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase. The club has opposed the light-rail line, which would bisect its 100-year-old golf course.

According the spokesman, this issue has been under debate long enough and that Governor O’Malley will now be moving the Purple Line forward.