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Connolly and 8 other DC-MD-VA reps ask Congressional subcommittee for full funding for Metro

Congressman Gerry Connolly, who represents part of Prince William County, and other representatives of the National Capital Region on March 16 requested the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development continue to provide the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) with $150 million in federal funds for critical capital and safety improvements.

The letter was signed by Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and House members Holmes Norton, Sarbanes, Delaney, Beyer, Brown and Raskin.

“Metro is “America’s Subway” and the federal government cannot be a free rider. We saw positive steps taken by Virginia last week towards increased dedicated funding, making this federal installment all the more critical if we are going to restore Metro to a world-class transit system,” Connolly was quoted as saying in a news release.

In their letter the members wrote, “The Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA, PL 110-432) created this successful federal-state partnership under which the three WMATA jurisdictions collectively match this funding with another $150 million each year. Without federal participation, this successful funding partnership would unravel, leaving a massive shortfall in WMATA’s capital budget.”

It went on to state, “WMATA is a $40 billion asset to the National Capital Region and is essential to the operation of the federal government, with federal employees representing approximately 42 percent of Metrorail’s peak period customers. More than one-third of all Metrorail stations are located on federal property, serving federal facilities. Unlike other transportation networks in the nation, the WMATA system serves a unique vital national security role for the federal government, providing transportation for thousands of federal employees traveling to and from the Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security facilities, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters. On multiple occasions, the system has demonstrated it is vital during times of crisis, including evacuation for weather events and national emergencies.”

The FY19 funding request marks the 10th installment of PRIIA funding.

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