News & Politics

Metro Gets More Money From DC, Maryland, and Virginia

Each jurisdiction will give Metro an additional $25 million to pay for the transit agency’s future plans.

Metro wants to make lots of upgrades, but needs the money to pay for them. Photograph by Flickr user Elvert Barnes.

Nobody knows when the Silver Line will start running, but even so, Metro still has many plans for the future, and today the governments of the District, Maryland, and Virginia plunked down some cash to pay for them.

One of the results from a meeting today between DC Mayor Vince Gray, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is that each of the three jursidictions will be increasing their contributions to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to pay for a long-term strategic plan to improve rail and bus service.

The plans range from putting eight cars on every train to ease crowding to more routine things like station renovations and power upgrades. But the increased contributions from local governments are critical, Metro says, at a time when federal support is slimming down. Metro got about 65 percent of its capital budget from the federal government in fiscal 2012, down from a high of 80 percent a decade ago.

Metro will likely continue to increase its dependence on local governments as it executes its $6.5 billion strategic plan designed to carry it through 2025.

“Today’s commitment of $75 million is a critical installment that bridges Metro to the next phase of our capital program,” Metro general manager Richard Sarles said in a press release.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.