Fund Metro!

Photo: BeyondDC

Update on 4/12/2024: For FY25 (starting July 1, 2024), MD has committed to $150 million in additional funding, DC has committed at least $200 million, and the VA General Assembly has committed to $130 million split 50/50 with NoVA. But in one of his budget amendments, Governor Youngkin slashed the needed funding by 76% – to nothing in FY25 and just $35 million in FY26. We are asking the VA General Assembly to reject the amendment and restore the state’s $65 million for FY25 and $87 million for FY26. If you live in VA, we need you to act before April 17th!

Ten Metro stations closed. Half of bus lines cut. No service after 10pm. Metro is facing a $750 million budget gap that would mean devastating service cuts beginning in July 2024.

Our Fund Metro! coalition of 19 non-profit groups is calling on Governor Moore, Governor Youngkin, Mayor Bowser, our legislators, and local elected officials to close the Metro funding gap and put transit first. 

To their credit, Metro has already identified $100 million in cost savings. The region should do their part and provide enough additional public funding to avoid service cuts, and minimize fare hikes and shifts of preventative maintenance funds to operations.

Fund Metro! Coalition members support world-class transit with frequent, reliable, affordable service, and agree that funding WMATA (Metro) should be our region’s #1 transportation funding priority—and not at the expense of other transit. Virginia, Maryland, and DC should put ALL transit and sustainable transportation first, and shift funds from highway expansion to transit.

Our region needs Metro. Failure cannot be an option.

Metro’s benefits to our region include:

  1. Shaping a more sustainable region through walkable, bikeable, mixed-use, transit-oriented communities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  2. Affordable access to jobs and opportunity – within the Metro Compact Area, the land within ½ mile of the system’s Metrorail stations and Metrobus stops contains 60% of the region’s population, 70% of jobs, and 50% of businesses. 
  3. An effective alternative to sitting in traffic that benefits everyone by reducing congestion.
  4. An essential service underpinning a competitive and growing economy – attracting companies and the next-generation workforce.
  5. An important contributor to tax revenue – Metrorail station areas are only 3% of the region’s land area, but contribute 30% of its property tax revenue.
  6. Lower combined housing and transportation costs, particularly when combined with affordable housing – Washington metro area commuters can save over $13,000 per year by using transit instead of driving.
  7. Reduced consumption of land, saving farms and forests, and leaving room for parks and protected stream corridors.

Short term stopgap (by April/May 2024):

Close the FY25 and FY26 funding gaps with enough funding from Virginia, DC, and Maryland to avoid service cuts and minimize fare hikes and shifts of preventative maintenance funds to operations. Minimum request:

  • $150 million from Maryland
  • $130 million from Virginia (split 50/50 with Northern Virginia localities)
  • $200 million from DC

Ideally, we can win even more funding to avoid fare hikes and shifting maintenance funds to operations.

Long term solution: 

  1. Solve the long-term dedicated funding challenge once and for all by reaching regional consensus on sources of dedicated funding legislatively earmarked to WMATA and indexed to inflation.
    1. Consider numerous funding sources including land value (“split-rate”) taxation for transit-oriented development areas.
    2. Shift funding from highways to Metro and other transit given the climate crisis.
  2. Improve efficiency through dedicated bus lanes, consolidated bus purchases with local providers, and even consolidating bus operators.
  3. Continue Metro’s progress in improving safety, preventative maintenance, operations, cost controls, financial reporting, and communications with decision-makers and the public.
  4. Standardize WMATA’s reporting to the three states, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, and Federal government on finances, operations, maintenance, and safety to provide more transparent and accessible reporting and reduce the administrative burden on all parties.

The Fund Metro! coalition is made up of several DC-area nonprofit groups. List of the groups who have signed on to date:

  • Coalition for Smarter Growth
  • Active Prince William
  • Chesapeake Climate Action Network
  • Clean Fairfax
  • DC New Liberals
  • Gaithersburg HELP
  • Grassroots Alexandria
  • Greater Greater Washington
  • Just Economics
  • League of Women Voters, DC
  • League of Women Voters, Maryland
  • Mobilize Frederick
  • Prince William Conservation Alliance
  • Sierra Club – Maryland Chapter
  • Sierra Club – DC Chapter
  • Southern Environmental Law Center
  • Sustainable Mobility for Arlington County
  • Washington Area Bicyclist Association
  • YIMBYs of Northern Virginia

Key Maryland General Assembly dates

  • Jan 10: General Assembly opens
  • Jan 23: Hearing on Del Marc Korman/Del Jazz Lewis Metro bill to allow for increased funding
  • Jan 24: Hearing on Sen Malcolm Augustine Metro bill to allow for increased funding
  • Jan 31: House hearing on MD Department of Transportation
  • Mar 4: House hearing on MD Transit Administration & State Highway Administration
  • April 8: Final day of session
  • May 8: Final day for extended session

Key Virginia General Assembly dates

  • Jan 10: General Assembly opens
  • Jan 22: Virginia Transit Association lobby day (register)
  • Jan 31: Virginia Conservation Network lobby day (register)
  • Mar 9: General Assembly ends

DC Council meeting information (we will update to identify specific hearing dates on Metro funding)

Latest Happenings

Joint Letter to COG-WMATA re Table for LT Metro Funding

Joint Letter to COG-WMATA re Table for LT Metro Funding

The undersigned groups commend regional elected officials and staff for identifying $480 million in funding to support WMATA FY25 …