Housing Complex

Metro’s Rich! Or At Least $75 Million Richer

0624metro_number-300x223Metro's short-term plans may not be quite as ambitious as some discarded longer-term ideas—au revoir, Brown Line—but they still do require money. And with federal funding dwindling, it hasn't been entirely clear where that money will come from.

Enter Vince GrayMartin O'Malley, and Terry McAuliffe. The D.C. mayor and the Democratic governors of Maryland and Virginia emerged today from a meeting in Arlington with an announcement: The three jurisdictions will be contributing a combined $75 million to Metro improvements.

Topping the priority list is the plan to bring eight-car trains to every Metro ride in order to reduce crowding. Other goals are more modest, such as upgrades to the power systems and certain stations.

"Thanks to the strong leadership of Mayor Gray and Governors O'Malley and McAuliffe, we can continue our rebuilding efforts and lay the foundation for all eight-car trains, with power upgrades, Union Station and Gallery Place station expansion designs, and buses for priority corridors," Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said in a statement.

Each of the three jurisdictions will chip in $25 million to the effort.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Tom M

    Is 1/3rd shares some kind of established process/requirement for metro? Given the relative populations of DC compared to suburbs of Maryland and NoVa and considering the relatively higher per capita incomes and wealth of those areas compared to DC, is that fair? just? Or simply required for Vincy Gray to make an announcement of this sort when he is facing a primary and sees his position slipping? There's been considerable fraud and poor financial controls across a range of DC taxpayer-supported programs. Some came to light in the last three months. Is the executive responsible? Is the council? Are any elected officials every called to account by the taxpayers who pay the bills (and their salaries)???

  • Johnny

    Build the BROWN!

  • Veazy R. Quackenbos

    @Tom M, a one-third contribution from the District is standard. The current capital program funding the rehabilitation of the system was funded in equal parts by the District, Maryland, and Virginia -- with the local contribution being matched by the feds. This arrangement dates to the Fenty administration.

    Considering a large part of this down payment will go towards funding capacity enhancements at stations in D.C., including Gallery Place and Union Station, I think it's actually a great deal for D.C.

    @Johnny, absolutely.

  • Transport.

    Eight car train news is great but you need to realize that in order to power all eight car trains, the power system also needs upgrades and increased capacity. I wouldn't note power system upgrades as "modest." Kudos to DC, MD, and VA leaders for coming together on this. Please don't blow it, Metro.