STATEMENT: Coalition for Smarter Growth applauds WMATA General Manager’s initiatives and urges a regional ‘team effort’

For Immediate Release
March 7, 2016

Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director
Cell: 703-599-6437

WASHINGTON, DC — Today at the National Press Club, and in an Op Ed in the Washington Post on Sunday, the new General Manager for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), Paul Wiedefeld, laid out his comprehensive plan for fixing the transit agency. Coalition for Smarter Growth Executive Director Stewart Schwartz issued the following statement in reaction to Wiedefeld’s plan.

“We applaud the General Manager’s comprehensive and detailed plan for fixing WMATA. The plan offers confidence that GM Wiedefeld is a leader focused on implementing the reforms we need to restore the system and the public’s confidence.

“But restoring Metro must be a team effort. All sectors must share a commitment to fixing the system. This means not just management and line staff, but the unions, the WMATA Board, business and civic sectors, riders, advocates, and above all, our elected officials. Our region cannot function without Metro, so our elected officials must make Metro their top priority transportation investment, backing up the GM with the funding the system needs.

“The region’s economy depends on Metro. For decades, it has been essential for the functioning of our largest employer, the federal government. Today, the marketplace is demonstrating huge demand to live and work near Metro and private developers are committing billions of dollars to building the walkable, urban, transit-oriented communities people want.  Elected officials have said that transit-oriented development (TOD) is the region’s future, but you can’t have TOD without the ‘T’. Fixing Metro must be our top priority if we are to remain economically competitive.”

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