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New reports on Metro
Four major reports have been released on Metro. Here’s a snapshot of what we know:
- COG reports that over the next 10 years, we are facing a $7.4 billion budget gap ($1.3 billion for operations and maintenance and $6.2 billion for capital needs like buses, railcars, vehicle parts, and track systems).
- General Manager Wiedefeld proposes cutting labor costs and asks for a dedicated revenue source of $500 million per year from DC, MD, and VA, but leaves the source up to the jurisdictions.
- Federal City Council wants to re-open WMATA’s governing compact, create an emergency financial control board, and proposes a 1% sales tax as a dedicated funding source along with a special property assessment within a half-mile of Metro stations.
- Metro’s largest union, ATU 689, focuses on dedicated funding via special real estate tax districts and airport rental car taxes, labor-management safety partnerships, no service cuts and a modified flat fare system, among other proposals.
At CSG, we think GM Wiedefeld’s plan is the best starting point for getting Metro back on track. His proposal is bluntly honest about the situation and provides critical recommendations. It addresses dedicated funding and labor costs, without opening the Metro compact or recommending a control board.
- We think opening the Metro compact risks political gridlock and distracts from reaching a funding agreement within the next year.
- The benefit of a control board isn’t clear, and it’s risky at a time when federal commitment to transit is in doubt.
- The union employees of Metro, many working overnight hours, driving traffic-congested bus routes, and repairing an aging system, need to be partners in arriving at solutions for safety, operations, and costs.
- COG’s report on Metro’s needs is the result of a thorough review by the chief administrative officers of the jurisdictions, and we accept their numbers.
We will keep you updated on any opportunity to weigh in or take action.
Here are some additional great resources to learn more about WMATA’s budget:
- RELEASE: Regional groups respond to MWCOG report and call for dedicated funding for Metro
- Statement on WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s ‘New Business Model’ proposal
- RELEASE: It’s time – elected leaders must fund Metro now
- WMATA’s official FY2018 budget page
- Reality Check budget explained by GGWash
See where CSG stands in these articles on Metro:
- “Metro funding proposed from D.C., Maryland, Virginia sales tax, outsourcing of union jobs”
- Union dissent highlights difficulty of enacting Wiedefeld’s rescue plan for Metro
- Metro’s GM: The System Needs $15.5 Billion and A New Business Plan
- Metro fare hikes, service cuts move a step closer to reality
- Metro Board Approves Fare Hikes, Service Cuts Effective July 1
- Metro committee approves service cuts, fare hikes
- Metro board advances fare hikes and service cuts, advocates warn ridership decline will worsen