Lawmakers: Metro in ‘jeopardy' If Federal Funds Cut

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress from D.C., Virginia and Maryland have sent a letter to their colleagues on the House and Senate Appropriations Committee asking them not to cut federal funding for Metro.

In the letter, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and others, ask the federal government to continue to provide Metro with the $150 million each year in funds.

The critical funding, which would go toward capital investments and safety improvements, is greatly needed now more than ever for the troubled rail system.

Metro’s General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the rail system already faces major budget challenges when it comes to its operating costs. To help address that budget shortfall, he said Metro will increase fares and cut service starting July 1, 2017.

The letter goes on to say that Metro is making progress in returning the rail system back to health, but that will be in jeopardy if current federal funding levels for Metro are cut. If funds are cut, Metro would not meet its goal to return safety and reliability back to the rail system.

The local lawmakers said they wrote the letter as a delegation from both sides of the aisle and from both houses of Congress.

They also pointed out that the federal government relies on the rail system, since 40 percent of riders using Metro during peak time are federal employees. In addition, many of the Metro stations were built at the request of the government.

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