The Board of Supervisors is pushing for support of federal legislation that would extend dedicated federal funding and impose more reform and accountability measures on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
For the past decade, Congress allocated $150 million annually to Metro for capital expenses, with Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia each providing $50 million in matching funds. The dedicated federal funding will expire at the end of the year unless Congress acts to renew it.
In May, Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, along with Maryland Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, introduced the Metro Safety, Accountability and Investment Act of 2019, a bill that would renew the federal funding commitment. A similar bill, the Metro Accountability and Investment Act, was introduced in the House by Virginia Representatives Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer and Jennifer Wexton, and their counterparts from Maryland and the District of Columbia. Both bills are awaiting committee review.
“Loudoun County has invested heavily in Metro because we recognize that Metro is an essential transportation option for our residents and people across the region,” County Chairwoman Phyllis J. Randall (D-At Large) stated. “Virginia, Maryland and the District have dedicated significant funding to ensure Metro operates safely and reliably. Because Metro is a crucial resource for federal workers, it is only fair that the federal government also support Metro; I urge Congress to act and pass this important legislation.”
The Metro is the third busiest rail system in the United States, currently averaging more than 600,000 trips per day. More than half of all Metro stations serve federal facilities and nearly 40 percent of peak morning riders are federal employees. Next year, three new Metro stations are scheduled to open in Loudoun County, at Dulles Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn.