FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 23, 2019
Washington, D.C.—Today, leadership from the MetroNow Coalition—a business, non-profit and advocacy coalition working across the District, Maryland, and Virginia to achieve comprehensive reforms to Metro’s funding, governance, and operations—released the following statements in response to the introduction of the Metro Safety, Accountability and Investment Act of 2019 by U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD):
“Our region showed unprecedented strength and collaboration in 2018 to prioritize our transit system to secure an additional $500 million in dedicated annual funding for Metro,” said Jason Miller, CEO of the Greater Washington Partnership. “We support our Senate delegation’s efforts to reauthorize WMATA. This bill builds off Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C.’s collective actions and positions Metro to make the Capital Region one of the world’s best places to live, work, and build a business.”
“The Federal City Council applauds Sens. Warner, Cardin, Kaine, and Van Hollen for their continued commitment to WMATA and to ensuring that critically needed federal funding for the system is reauthorized this year. This funding, along with the new dedicated funding that was committed by the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia in 2018 is critically needed to ensure a safe, reliable, and sustainable future for Metro,” said Tony Williams, former Mayor of the District of Columbia and current CEO and Executive Director of the Federal City Council. “However, it has been the longstanding position of the Federal City Council and the MetroNow coalition that in addition to funding, Metro is also in need of a better framework to guide decision-making and increase accountability at WMATA—a critical part of the solution that has been missing, until now. With comprehensive enhancements to WMATA’s Office of the Inspector General and capital planning requirements, this legislation will help to safeguard the investment being made in this vital piece of our region’s transportation infrastructure and will inspire confidence in Metro going forward.”
“Metro is critical to those who live and work here and, equally important, it benefits those who travel here to do business, interact with the federal government, and enjoy all our region has to offer,” said Jack McDougle, President & CEO of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. “Every day, we welcome visitors from around the country and the world, requiring us to maintain the safest, most reliable and world-class transit system possible. That’s why we and our partners in the MetroNow coalition urge Congress to pass this legislation.”
“For the past decade, PRIIA has been a successful model for effectively and reliably funding Metro’s capital needs,” said Julie Coons, President & CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce. “Enhancing the federal government’s annual commitment to WMATA from $150 million to $200 million is a positive development for Greater Washington, its business community, the regional workforce, and the hundreds of thousands of federal employees that rely on Metro every day. We congratulate our congressional leaders in Virginia and across the region for presenting this ambitious proposal to address a key regional mobility challenge.”
“Metro is the critical transportation backbone for the region’s economy and the federal workforce,” said Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth. “The PRIIA investment not only leverages billions in state and local funding, it leverages economic development, accessibility to jobs, and environmental sustainability more than any other investment the federal government could make in this region.”
“The introduction of the Metro Safety, Accountability, and Investment Act is another important step forward for Metro and regional collaboration,” said Bob Buchanan, president of The 2030 Group. “It is encouraging to see Sens. Warner, Cardin, Kaine, and Van Hollen work together at the federal level this year, as state leaders in Maryland and Virginia, and the District did in 2018 to provide dedicated funding for Metro—a vital component of Greater Washington’s transportation infrastructure that impacts the region’s economic security, quality of life, and global competitiveness. These efforts coupled with the accountability enhancements included in this legislation will help to ensure that Metro continues on a safe, reliable, and sustainable path forward.”
The MetroNow Coalition looks forward to working with Greater Washington’s federal delegation and members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to ensure that safety, accountability, and investments for Metro remain a priority.
Read more on Metro Safety, Accountability and Investment Act of 2019 here
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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 together to ensure that action is taken to put Metro—the backbone of Greater Washington’s transportation infrastructure—on a safe, smart and sustainable path forward. We are dedicated to securing comprehensive improvement of Metro’s governance, funding and operational structures. Visit www.MetroNow.com for more information.