Metro and other U.S. transit systems are facing a sharp drop in their revenues caused by COVID-19’s impact on ridership and the economy. While draconian Metro budget cuts for calendar year 2021 were staved off by a recent infusion of federal funds, without future funding Metro will be in the same dire position a year from now, in 2022. Without further federal assistance, local economies dependent upon transit for access to jobs and other life essential activities will face severe cuts in transit service in 2022. Metro also needs long term, stable federal funding beyond 2022.
The Biden administration has proposed $20 billion in federal funding for transit that would keep WMATA (and other major city transit system operators) running in 2022. That bill is now making its way through Congress. Looking to the future, the Virginia congressional delegation is introducing a bill that will provide federal funding to WMATA through 2031.
Our entire Virginia congressional delegation is aware of the regional stakes and is working hard to keep Metro funded both in 2022 and beyond. They need to hear your encouragement for their steadfast support of transit.
- Representative Jennifer Wexton – Email Chris Gibson or call: (202) 622-8414
- Representative Gerry Connolly – Email Collin Davenport, or call: (202) 225-1492
- Senator Mark Warner – Email Stephanie Doherty or call: 202-224-2023
- Senator Tim Kaine – Email Evan McWalters, or call (202) 224-4024
We encourage you to reach out to your legislators. Below are some recommended talking points:
- Metro is critical to the economy of the National Capital Region, Tysons and the entire Silver Line corridor.
- The impacts of COVID-19 on Metro revenue and ridership have been severe.
- The bipartisan federal relief package signed in December 2020 helped, but those funds are not enough or sustainable.
- Despite taking management actions to reduce operating costs, Metro is projecting a $200M shortfall for next year.
- Additional transit relief is needed to prevent layoffs and more service cuts in 2022.
- Transit is existential to the Tysons envisioned by the Comprehensive Plan. Much has been accomplished in the decade since Fairfax County adopted the Plan, and transit remains key to continued progress.
Please click HERE for a recording of the Metro Mondays Webinar – How COVID-19 has Impacted the Financial Status of Metro & the Silver Line.