Montgomery Co. Leaders Call for Investigation Into Silver Spring Transit Center

Metro says it will not operate the center at all, regardless of repairs

Montgomery County leaders plan to meet Wednesday to discuss -- again -- what's gone wrong with the troubled Silver Spring Transit Center.

Several members of County Council are calling for a formal investigation into the project, and want the county inspector general to launch a probe into why the huge development is two years behind schedule and $90 million over budget.

Last week, Metro announced the transit system would not take control of the center as planned because of the extensive repairs needed. But councilmembers say they learned of that not from County Executive Isiah Leggett's office, but from a report by the Washington Post.

In a letter sent from Metro to Montgomery County leaders, Metro Deputy General Manager Rob Troup said the deficiencies in the building "are of the magnitude and severity, that even if repaired would unnecessarily place an inordinate maintenance burden onto WMATA should the facility be accepted."

In the letter, Metro said that if the building is fixed, it will run buses on it, but it is made clear that Metro wants its name off of the building.

A county spokesperson told News4 last week that Metro's statement was more of an opening point of discussion, but Metro has said that it's standing firm.

It will be up to the county to find another operator for the transit center.

The transit center's budget started at about $30 million and now is about $120 million. It was supposed to open in 2009 as a hub for Metro, MARC trains and buses.

Earlier this month, the Montgomery County Council approved another $7.5 million in funding, but that won't be the last time additional money is sought for the project, which is believed to have structural problems.


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