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The Virginia legislature reached a deal Saturday that is expected to provide Metro with a dedicated funding source for the first time, while putting new requirements on Metro to limit budget increases and submit to increased reporting to state officials.

The bill is expected to be sent to the governor for his signature after work by a conference committee that included Sen. Dick Saslaw, D-35th District; Del. Tim Hugo, R-40th District; and Del. Rip Sullivan, D-48th District, along with other members.

"From the start, my position was that a funding package for Metro had to go hand-in-hand with meaningful reforms without raising taxes," Hugo said in a statement Saturday. "This legislation uses existing funds tied to key reforms like cost-reduction measures, better oversight, and WMATA Board governance.”

The bill provides a dedicated funding stream of $154 million per year for Metro.

"On behalf of all Metro customers and employees, as well as the communities whose economic wellbeing depends on a safe, reliable Metro system, we are truly grateful,” said Paul Wiedefeld, Metro’s general manager and CEO.

But Virginia’s spending is contingent on Maryland and D.C. reaching a similar dedicated spending arrangement.

“Now that Virginia has met its commitment to Metro, we urge leaders in Maryland and the District to meet their full funding commitment to ensure Metro has $500 million in ongoing, dedicated funding,” said Jim Corcoran, president and CEO of the Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce.  “Now is the time act boldly as a region to bring our most critical transportation asset, Metro, to a state of good repair so it can safely and reliably serve our region for decades to come.”

The legislation requires several changes in how Metro is managed, including a 3 percent limit on budget increases, demands for five-year strategic planning and the creation of a Metro Reform Commission.

We'll have more coverage on this breaking news at InsideNoVa.com.

(5) comments

Charles

Enough is Enough. IMMEDIATELY STOP the 4-decades long antics of WMATA Board Members who are also City Council and Boards of Supervisors Members who have approved EVERY POSSIBLE transit / transportation incentive to steal transit riders from Metrobus and Metrorail.

DailyDriver

Charles: What are you talking about? Boards of Supervisors are approving transit incentives? Sounds so "horrible!" I guess they should only approve incentives to drive more!

Allen Muchnick

What you incorrectly deem as "competing" transit modes are in fact generally complementary. Because Metrorail is not located within a one-half mile radius of most trip origins or destinations in our metropolitan region, these "competing" transit modes often provide essential transit access that Metrorail does not supply or "first-mile"/"last-mile" access for a Metrorail trip.

CJE

If there's a transit or transportation mode that directly competes with Metrobus and Metrorail for riders that local pols who also sit on the WMATA Board haven't approved over the past 3 decades I'd like to know what it is. Also, how about running a photo of the deteriorated Metrorail track beds?

tbornottb

So WHEN will ANY Metro funding be used beyond Springfield to the south where the ease in commuting is really needed? People have moved further and further south to be able to afford it and have to drive hours to get to work as there is no real public transportation...its criminal. More HOV is not the answer and VRE is limited and expensive.

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