WASHINGTON — Wednesday marked the deadline for companies interested in developing a pair of major rail projects under Maryland’s new public-private partnership authorization law, and the private sector is jumping at the chance.

The Maryland Transit Administration is seeking private-sector input two develop the Purple Line outside Washington, D.C. and the Baltimore Red Line. The Purple Line is a proposed 16-mile light rail line extending from New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Bethesda in Montgomery County, linking up with the Washington Metro as well as Amtrak trains, local commuter trains, and local bus services.

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