FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 16, 2023
Contact: John Hillegass 630.707.8724
Washington, DC —The MetroNow Coalition—comprised of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, Federal City Council, Greater Washington Board of Trade, Greater Washington Partnership, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce, and Tysons Partnership—today released the following comments on the WMATA Better Bus Draft Visionary Network’s Ability to Enhance Economic Growth and Inclusion.
“The MetroNow Coalition writes to express its appreciation for the Better Bus regional network redesign process. The Better Bus Draft Visionary Network, if implemented, would drive economic growth and inclusion by enhancing access to jobs and opportunity. We applaud the WMATA team for its continued commitment to meaningful public engagement with riders, businesses, and policymakers during this important process.
This draft network represents the first comprehensive overhaul of Metrobus since it began operations 50 years ago. For those 50 years, Metrobus has been critical to the region’s economic competitiveness and shared quality of life. Hundreds of thousands of residents rely on Metrobus every day, and improving system reliability and enhancing service across the network would mean even more people getting to where they want to go, when they want to travel.
Frequent, all-day, and all-night bus routes and the visionary proposal of a 35% increase in investment for bus services would be transformative for workers, businesses, and communities. Full realization of the Better Bus Network would be a momentous step towards recognizing and prioritizing the economic development, congestion reduction, and business creation potential of a well-funded Metrobus system.
The Better Bus Visionary Bus Draft Network presents the region with a historic opportunity to make our region a national leader in bus system accessibility, efficiency, reliability, and equity for the next 50 years – a vision that the MetroNow Coalition fully supports. However, the impending fiscal cliff WMATA will face with its Fiscal Year 2025 budget will challenge any near-term implementation of this vision.
We stand ready to work with WMATA leadership to develop a regional strategy to create and enhance funding stability for WMATA that will enable us to realize this bus vision and provide frequent, reliable Metrorail and Metrobus service. Toward that end, we look forward to General Manager & CEO Clarke sharing the specifics of proposed solutions for WMATA’s revenue model and working with regional leaders to address concerns and limitations with WMATA’s governance structure and accountability mechanisms.”
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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 came together to ensure that action was 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. We are doubling down on our commitment to regional mobility by expanding our focus to the region’s bus system. Visit www.MetroNow.com for more information.