Virginia Lawmakers Approve New Metro Funding - NBC4 Washington

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Virginia Lawmakers Approve New Metro Funding

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    Virginia Lawmakers Approve New Metro Funding
    The Washington Post/Getty Images
    RESTON, VA - JULY 26: On Saturday, July 26, 2014, Metro opened the Silver Line with five new stations from Reston to McLean. Workers try to get a jammed door to open shortly before the opening ceremony. (Photo by Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

    Virginia lawmakers have approved a bipartisan plan to pay for the state's share of $500 million a year in new funding to improve the Washington-area's struggling public transit system.

    Lawmakers approved the legislation Saturday directing about $150 million to Metro, with supporters saying it would use existing transportation money for Northern Virginia and not raise new taxes.

    The legislation stipulates several reforms, according to a statement from Delegate Tim Hugo, including a rule that Metro can't ask Virginia for a spending bump exceeding 3 percent.

    Metro must also draw up a detailed capital improvement plan, establish a four-member Metro Reform Commission and a commission that will report to high-level Virginia legislators, among other reforms, Hugo said.

    Metro's GM Calls For $500 Million in Dedicated Funding Annually

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    Metro's manager said Wednesday that local leaders have to dedicate at least $500 million annually to make the transit system "safe, reliable and affordable." As News4's Meagan Fitzgerald reports, taxpayers may have to foot the bill, whether they ride Metro or not.

    (Published Thursday, April 20, 2017)

    The funding won't kick in until 30 days after D.C. and Maryland enact legislation supporting dedicated funding.

    Opponents said the funds could be better spent on roads.

    A 2017 study by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recommended that Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia provide annual dedicated funding of $500 million for capital costs.

    Virginia's plan still needs to be approved by Gov. Ralph Northam.

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