Purple Line Could Be Jeopardized by Bill Demanding Holocaust Reparations

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Photo by Phil Scott.
Photo by Phil Scott.

What do you do when a French rail company that transported 76,000 Holocaust victims to concentration camp — and has never paid reparations — bids on a $6 billion contract to operate Maryland’s light rail Purple Line? Del. Kirill Reznik (D-Montgomery) sponsored a bill that would force Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF), the majority owner of Keolis North America, to pay reparations before being considered for the contract.

Unfortunately, that bill could violate the Federal Transit Administration’s rule “against imposing conditions on a single bidder.” That means federal funding for the project (up to $900 million) could be lost.

Reznik said he would alter the bill to align with FTA rules while still forcing SNCF to compensate Holocaust victims, but it’s not clear how that would be done.



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