Loudoun supervisors said it’s too late for talk of backing out of the Silver Line project, despite well-publicized difficulties in the Metrorail system. In county Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large)’s words: “We can make it work.”
Speaking at the first event of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce’s 2017 PolicyMaker Series, Randall said that although Metro has longstanding problems, new CEO Paul Wiedefeld is making “great strides” in many areas.
“Finally we are getting really honest numbers about what the Metro is going to cost us going forward,” Randall said. “These numbers are startling, and they are concerning, and quite frankly, I have over the last month did a deep dive into Metro, and I can tell you there are almost no jurisdictions that can afford to write a check for the operations and [capital costs] of Metro. It’s literally impossible. We don’t have it.”
That, Randall said, is why Metro needs dedicated funding from Maryland, Virginia, DC, and the federal government. She and board Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) said the costs of pulling out of the Silver Line extension—which is already well under construction—would be devastating to the county, and that talking about pulling out “sends the wrong message.”
“Metro will be vitally important not just for housing, but for the economic and job growth in Loudoun County if we can get it right, and I believe we can get it right,” Randall said.