FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 15, 2018
Washington, DC – Coming less than a week after Virginia made history by pledging its full $154 million share of the regional $500 million minimum in funds needed for Metro’s state of good repair projects, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced in her State of the District address this evening that D.C. would also meet its full $178 million commitment.
Along with Virginia’s vote, Mayor Bowser’s commitment to fully fund Metro marks the first time in the history of the Metro system that compact jurisdictions have pledged dedicated funds. The lack of dedicated funds, rare for a system of WMATA’s size, has been long identified as a major structural impediment to guaranteeing Metro’s future, culminating in declines in service quality and ridership in recent years.
Mayor Bowser, Council Member Evans, and members of the DC Council are to be commended for boldly leading on Metro and taking necessary action to ensure the District and Greater Washington region have a world-class transportation system in place that can both drive and support economic growth, as well as provide residents with the safe and reliable system they deserve.
“The announcement by the Mayor and the DC Council that the District will commit $178 million in additional, dedicated funding for Metro puts the region one step closer towards obtaining the additional funding and reform that the system so desperately needs,” said Anthony Williams, CEO and Executive Director of the Federal City Council. “This is truly a historic moment, and is one that District leaders should be proud to be a part of.”
Action in Virginia and Washington D.C. comes as the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Hogan are advancing legislation that would also provide dedicated funds, which, along with reforms to Metro’s governance, the MetroNow coalition has called for in order to return Metro to a state of good repair. With both Washington D.C. and Virginia having pledged their full proportional share of the regional minimum of $500 million that is needed to put the system on a sustainable path forward, the region now looks to Maryland to close the deal.
Earlier this month the Maryland House of Delegates advanced the Metro/Transit Funding Act which addresses long-term funding and reform. In the coming days and weeks MetroNow looks forward to working with leaders in the Maryland General Assembly and Governor Hogan to pass the Metro/Transit Fund Act at Maryland’s full funding share of $167 million, while retaining critical reform measures.
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About the MetroNow Coalition
The MetroNow Coalition is a group of regional leaders from organizations representing businesses and non-profit advocates who have come to together to ensure that action is taken to put Metro—a vital component of Greater Washington’s transportation infrastructure—on a safe, smart, and sustainable path forward in 2018 and beyond.