FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 22, 2017
Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director
(703) 599-6437 (c)
Aimee Custis, Deputy Director
(202) 431-7185 (c)
“Fund it, Fix it” – Time for our elected leaders to provide the funding Metro needs
Washington, DC: The Coalition for Smarter Growth responded to the latest sobering news from WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, with a call on elected officials from our Governors and Congressional Delegation on down, to provide the funding Metro needs.
“We are deeply concerned that our elected officials from top to bottom haven’t stepped up to provide both the operational and capital funding that Metro needs,” said Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and a Virginia resident. “At a time when Metro’s value to the region’s economy is more apparent than ever, we call upon our leaders to make spending to restore the system the top priority.”
Recently, the region attracted the Nestlé company U.S. headquarters from suburban California to the Rosslyn Metro station and Marriott Corporation announced its move from a suburban office park to the Bethesda Metro. JBG and Vornado announced a merger in which they will concentrate solely on development at Metro stations and will divest all non-Metro accessible properties. In recent years, Hilton Hotels moved its headquarters into our region and located near Metro in Tysons and Choice Hotels moved from an office park to Metro in Rockville. Meanwhile, 120,000 people have moved into the District of Columbia in just 12 years, thousands of apartments are being built near Metro, and 86% of new office development is within walking distance of Metro.
“When the entire Metro team — from the General Manager to track workers, are giving it their all to restore the system, we should be backing them up with the funding needed to get the job done and then to keep Metro in top operating condition for decades to come,” said Schwartz.
“Metro should not be forced to raise fares and cut service, which will just chase more riders away, and they also shouldn’t be forced into financial gimmicks to keep the system operating as discussed in today’s stories. So while it’s good that the jurisdictions are closing some of the operating gap, we think they should provide sufficient funding to avoid the fare hikes and service cuts,” said Aimee Custis, Deputy Director of the Coalition and a DC resident.
“The Metro safety oversight body is on its way to approval by the three states, the General Manager and his team are making solid progress, and the business community is betting on Metro as the connecting tissue of our region’s economy. So it’s time for elected officials to make Metro funding – both operating and capital, their priority focus,” concluded Schwartz
About the Coalition for Smarter Growth
The Coalition for Smarter Growth is the leading organization in the Washington DC region dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Its mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies and investments needed to make those communities flourish. Learn more at smartergrowth.net.