MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND -- Daniel Vovak, a candidate for Montgomery County Executive, has vowed that, if elected, he will begin construction of the Purple Line within four years. Vovak's ambitious plan follows a similar logic as Robert Dyer (R-at large), Hans Reimer (D-at large), and ideas by Scott Goldberg, a delegate candidate (D-16), who also supports the Purple Line, plus solar savings with creative renewable energy sources of revenue. Vovak's new Purple Line idea was inspired by his reading of oil tycoon Henry Flagler, who built the Florida East Coast Railroad from St. Augustine to Key West, Florida, using primarily private funds instead of State (or Federal) funds.
"Because we live adjacent to the capital city of the United States, Montgomery County should be a showcase for efficient public transportation," said Vovak. "I want my first term in office to focus on job creation, spurred by the Purple Line project. Under my administration, the project will focus on building America's first Maglev (or high speed rail) line using primarily private equity funds."
Currently there are no American companies that build high-speed trains. Usually, international companies have and continue to be involved in the planning for transit systems. Private funding for the Purple Line may require an estimated $1.8 billion dollars as a light rail project. Vovak says the project may tap into federal Recovery and Reinvestment Act monies in order to create green jobs related to the Purple Line. Initial county funds could also come from an infrastructure bank, which will take transportation decisions out of political hands and transfer them to experts.
Vovak says he received initial interest from Republican county executive candidates in Howard County (Trent Kittleman) and Baltimore County (Ken Holt), with Anne Arundel County Executive John Leopold not yet involved in any concrete plans. Vovak says that the Maglev line should start in Bethesda and run through Silver Spring, Columbia, BWI, and end in Baltimore County. This proposal comes at a time when other countries, like India, are also reevaluating their transit systems.
Vovak said, "Frankly, I see a Maglev line from Bethesda to BWI as a greater priority than a light rail line from Bethesda to New Carrolton. Regardless, I still support the existing Metro proposals from Silver Spring to New Carrolton, though as perhaps a line of a different color, like the "Silver Line." Besides, anything with the color purple should be welcomed by Baltimore Ravens fans."
According to Vovak, the privately-funded Purple Line could serve as a model for similar train projects in Ohio, Florida, along the West Coast, and trans-America. Vovak says the project would create immediate jobs in an assortment of fields, especially real estate, civil engineering, construction, and law, since businesses always function faster than governments at driving economic growth. Vovak added that the entire Empire State Building project took less than two years to build from concept to completion, so his timeline is reasonable.
"The Maglev Purple Line could become a massive job-creator in Montgomery County, giving us an economic engine for our local economy!" said Vovak. "I thrive on challenges like this, which I believe I can achieve!"
Vovak's website is ChangeMontgomery.com or DanielVovak@gmail.com.