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$150 million in Metro funding included in initial fiscal 2018 appropriations bill

The House Appropriations Committee has once again included $150 million in annual federal funding for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R) announced in a statement Monday.

The congresswoman’s announcement followed Monday’s release of the initial Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2018, which included the full $150 million annual WMATA (Metro) obligation funding.

“I am pleased that the Appropriations Committee has once again proposed to fulfill the commitment of $150 million in matched federal funding toward WMATA,” Comstock said. “This continued partnership between the federal government and states in the compact agreement was first affirmed by the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008.”

Comstock said she plans to continue to work with Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies and her colleagues from both parties as the appropriations process unfolds to ensure Congress meets its annual obligation.

“If federal funding were to falter, then matching contributions from the states in the compact agreement would be imperiled,” Comstock said. “Metro needs these critical resources for long overdue capital improvements that will address important safety issues and help purchase new Metro rail cars that will keep my constituents, residents of the D.C. metro area, commuters of the federal workforce and visitors from across the country safe.”

In 2008 Congress voted to create a matching grant program through the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act (PRIIA) by which Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia each contribute $50 million annually for Metro’s capital needs, which is then matched by $150 million in federal funds.

For the last seven years, Congress has passed appropriations bills to fulfill that financial obligation to Metro.

In 2015 Comstock and Diaz-Balart joined forces when some members of Congress tried unsuccessfully to cut funding for Metro by 50 percent. The pair was able to successfully secure the $150 million federal share in the final omnibus spending plan for fiscal 2016, which passed in December of 2015.

In recent years, Metro had been plagued by crippling debt and safety issues. Local politicians have been calling for a dedicated source of funding as annual operational costs have skyrocketed in Metro jurisdictions, while the transit system has embarked on a year-long SafeTrack maintenance program to address numerous safety and maintenance concerns.

In March Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced plans for an independent review of WMATA in a bid to identify potential changes to its governance, funding and to help the transit authority support growth in the region.

Metro is slated to run Silver Line stops to the Dulles Airport and into eastern Loudoun County by 2020.

Comments


The echo chamber in the LTM comments is laughable. B/t ol’jonny erickson and freddie boy i dont know who exhibits less intelligence. You both lack the self-awareness to realize that you should stop typing nonsense on the internet. You are both clearly uneducated on how both taxes and transportation gets paid for in this country.

Why can’t metro self fund via passenger fares? I dunno, ask airlines why they don’t self fund via passenger tickets, or why can’t GM or Ford stop taking government handouts to subsidise the true costs of vehicles? If United, Delta, GM, and Ford stopped taking government subsidies transportation in this country would resemble a third world country.

You’re logic is so far out in space, no efforts on my part to educate would ever get your feet back on terra firma. Clearly your understanding of how transportation subsidies really work, leaves much to be desired. Do yourself a favor, stop typing nonsense on the internet folks.


Labor costs, labor costs, labor costs.

That’s always been the root of Metro’s problems.  No reform will be possible until that problem is solved.


$150 million from Feds(US taxpayers)+ $150 million(from state taxpayers) times 10 years(since 2008), just curious what capital improvements over those years? Poor leadership and nobody held accountable and people way overpaid for what little service they provide. Why does a metro train operator make more than police? fire? teacher? WMATA is a corrupt organization and disgrace to this community.


Barbara Comstock ISN’T a conservative.

The Heritage Foundation consistently ranks her as one of the most moderate members of congress.


Why is metro not able to self fund itself from rider fees?

Charge the riders a fee that covers all expenses of Metro. How hard is that accounting? I makes no sense for Metro to be subsidized by taxpayers who don’t even use it.


This $150,000,000.00 equals the entire taxes the average citizen pays for a lifetime times 422. Not a good job, Barbara!


Everyone at Metro is paid like they do the work of 2 people yet Comstock in her continued stupidity offers nothing in the way of corrections. She has a R by her name for Republican but that does not mean conservative anymore. Throwing more money at Metro what a waste ditto for Comstock.

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