Governor Approves Another Loudoun Seat Overseeing Metro

Governor Terry McAullife (D) on Tuesday signed into law a bill that gives Loudoun one more seat on the body that oversees the Metrorail.

House Bill 181 amends the enactment of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission to add one more commissioner from Loudoun, in addition to the one commissioner Loudoun already has. The NVTC oversees the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates Metrorail. Leesburg Del. J. Randall Minchew (R-10), the bill’s chief patron, said the extra seat is especially important as Loudoun signs contracts with WMATA to bring the Metrorail Silver Line to the county.

Leesburg Del. J. Randall "Randy" Minchew (R-10).
Leesburg Del. J. Randall “Randy” Minchew (R-10).

“Loudoun is going to be on the hook for paying 4.8 percent of the management and operational costs of WMATA,” Minchew said. “We on NVTC have to make absolutely certain that WMATA does not have any cost overruns, any bloated budgets, and that the money that they spend is spent wisely.”

Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) is the current Loudoun representative on the NVTC.

“Our relationship with NVTC is changing, because we are becoming part of the WMATA compact, so we are making policy, and we are putting real money into the system to help it operate,” Letourneau said. “So it’s going to give us a greater voice.”

Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large), Loudoun’s current alternate member to NVTC, said the bill “gives us some heft at the regional level.”

The bill goes into effect July 1.

The NVTC currently has 20 commissioners, including five from Fairfax County, three from Arlington County, two from the City of Alexandria, and one each from the cities of Falls Church and Fairfax. It also has six members from the General Assembly—including five whose districts include parts of Loudoun County. Minchew serves on the NVTC, joined by Sen. Richard H. Black (R-13), Sen. Jennifer T. Wexton (D-33), Del. Dave A. LaRock (R-33), and Del. James M. LeMunyon (R-67). Minchew, LaRock, LeMunyon, and Wexton also signed on to HB 181 as patrons, joined by Loudoun delegates John J. Bell (D-87), Jennifer B. Boysko (D-86), and Kathleen Murphy (D-34).