Council of Governments Report: D.C. Area Faces $58 Billion Budget Gap

A Council of Governments (COG) report released Wednesday says the D.C. Metro area will face a funding gap of at least $58 billion over the next 15 years.

The report analyzes transportation, water, energy, public buildings and public safety communications and their funding needs. Of the $58 billion, transportation accounts for $24 billion and water infrastructure accounts of $20 billion.

Even more specifically, Metro says it will need $16 billion during the next 15 years to maintain the system and improve safety.

"Without funding to make these improvements, [Metro] won't be anle to keep up with growing demand," the report said.

D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who also serves as chairman of COG, reviewed the report Wednesday.

"The concern is very great both from a reliability and safety perspective, but also the ability of public transit to meet the needs of the region," Mendelson said.

Leaders throughout the region said they're worried about huge costs of routine maintenance as well as new facilities with no clear idea of where the extra money might be found.

"It's clear, however, the state, federal government, the local governments and indeed the private sector need to seriously consider how they're going to come up with the money," Falls Church Vice Mayor David Snyder said.

Snyder, who has served on emergency committees, pointed out the importance of filling in the budget gap for transportation.

"I think we all as supporters of Metro have the right to demand management that at the very least provides full and accurate communications to riders in minor and major incidents and that's apparently not happened on a repeated basis," Snyder said, referencing this week's deadly incident inside the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station tunnel.

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