Regional and Federal

Image: John J Young

With over 5 million people, 8 congressional districts, 3 state-level governments, and 22 local jurisdictions, the Washington region certainly has its complexities, but it also has a rich history of working together through the regional Council of Governments (COG) and partnering on major projects like the Metro system. The Coalition for Smarter Growth has played a central role in promoting a more sustainable and equitable way for our region to grow via a network of walkable, inclusive transit-oriented communities (TOCs). Our 2002 Blueprint for a Better Region illustrated this approach, and led to the 2005 Reality Check visioning exercise, and the Council of Government’s (COG) 2010 Region Forward vision plan, and 2021 resolution to prioritize development at high-capacity transit stations.

Our Work in the Region

Winning dedicated operating funding for Metro: WMATA is facing a $750 million operating shortfall in FY25 due to a suspension of some local funding, inflation, and lower ridership. WMATA has found one-time cost savings but our local and state governments need to step up to fill the gap and provide dedicated funding. Without action, we’ll see massive service cuts, reduced access to jobs, and more traffic and pollution. Learn more >>>

Climate change and the regional Transportation Planning Board (TPB): We have just nine years to slash our greenhouse gas emissions and transportation is now our #1 source.  Our recent report shows electric vehicles will not be enough, transit-oriented communities are key to reducing emissions from driving. We are pressing regional officials to do more and move faster to shift funds from highways to transit and TOCs, both at COG’s Transportation Planning Board (TPB)  and at the Northern Virginia Regional Authority. Learn more >>>

Improving our Regional Transit Network: Having teamed with business allies in the MetroNow coalition in 2018 to win the first-ever dedicated funding for Metro, we are now working with MetroNow and other partners for Better Buses — more frequent, reliable and affordable, with improved networks and dedicated bus lanes, while continuing to press WMATA on safety, maintenance, transparency and communications. Learn more >>>

Latest Happenings

WMATA Fact Sheet on Cost Savings & Comparisons to Other Agencies

From FY18-24, Metro cut administrative costs by $308M through healthcare cost-sharing, maximizing real estate assets, office consolidation, position eliminations, and reducing the non-revenue fleet …

Release: CSG Applauds Re-Introduction of the Stronger Communities Through Better Transit Act; Urges Congress To Act 

Recently, Congressman Hank Johnson (GA)  introduced the Stronger Communities Through Better Transit Act. The bill will help fund transit operations costs, including here in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. In response, Stewart Schwartz, Executive Director of the Coalition for Smarter Growth, issued …

CSG in the News: Transit advocates weigh in on Maryland’s $2B transportation shortfall

The Maryland Sierra Club and Coalition for Smarter Growth argue that a better way to address the funding backlog would be to shift more of the remaining road dollars to transit …

TAKE ACTION: Say NO to the Metro death spiral!

Maryland Governor Moore recently committed an additional $150 million. Now, DC and Virginia must make a commitment as well. And we need even higher contributions from all three jurisdictions so Metro can avoid shifting capital repair funds towards operating costs.  …

Fund Metro – Statement of Principles

Our groups support world-class transit and agree that funding WMATA (Metro) should be our region’s #1 transportation funding priority but not at the expense of other transit. Virginia, Maryland, and DC should put ALL transit and green, sustainable transportation first, and …

RELEASE: 18 Groups say FUND METRO!

In advance of the December 14 meeting of the WMATA board, a coalition of non-profit groups organized under the “Fund Metro!” banner are calling on Governor Moore, Governor Youngkin, Mayor Bowser, our legislators and our local elected officials to put transit …