“On Saturday, Virginia approved $154 million in new annual dedicated funding for WMATA, paving the way for similar long-term financial commitments from DC and Maryland that could strengthen the embattled system, which needs repairs and upgrades.
Local transit advocates in Virginia and elsewhere in the region are happy about the breakthrough in funding, which the system has lacked since it opened in 1976. However, much of the money is being pulled from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority — including funds that Arlington, Alexandria, and Fairfax had slated for transit, roads, and pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure improvements.
“Metro is a vital component of Greater Washington’s transportation infrastructure and its viability directly impacts our region’s ability to compete for companies like Amazon, as well as attract and retain our talented workforce and other private sector industries that will drive our regional economy in the future,” said the MetroNow coalition, which includes the Coalition for Smarter Growth, business groups, and others. “Virginia has stepped up and shown great leadership by securing $154 million in annual, dedicated funding for Metro, and we strongly urge Maryland and the District to meet their commitments of $167 million and $179 million, respectively.”