DALLAS — The Maryland Transit Administration plans to seek bids soon for a private partner willing to provide up to $900 million of funding for a $2.2 billion light-rail line in the northern suburbs of Washington following Gov. Martin O'Malley's and the state Board of Public Works' unanimous approval of the P3 competitive solicitation process.

The state will select a private partner to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the 16-mile Purple Line that will link up with three existing heavy-rail Metro lines operated by Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, three lines of the MARC commuter rail system, and Amtrak passenger train service.

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