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(WUSA9) -- The Maryland Transportation Administration's planned Purple Line has just passed a key step toward becoming reality. The Federal Transit Administration has essentially approved the proposed 16-mile light rail line.

Thursday, the FTA signed off on funding for the project, which means Maryland can start buying right-of-way along the route.

A little background for you: the light rail will run from New Carrollton in Prince George's County to Bethesda in Montgomery County.

You may remember that last year Governor O'Malley announced funding for the project. The total cost for the rail is $2.2 billion.

Supporters say it will connect Prince George's County to Montgomery County and take cars off the road.

Of course, the project is not without controversy. Some are upset the project would destroy the Capital Crescent Trail.

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