Regional Transit in Poor Physical and Fiscal Shape

Metro struggles to remain financially solvent and maintain service.
January 2, 2005, 11am PST | Peter Buryk
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A recent report released by a blue ribbon panel of transit experts has suggested several solutions to the D.C. regional transit system's looming financial crisis. The most popular idea is a regional sales tax that would be assessed in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Metro has long suffered from a lack of dedicated funding and has instead placed more fiscal burden on farebox revenues. This strategy forces the transit authority to "throw itself annually on the mercy of partnering governments." After 25 years of service, Metro has exceeded ridership expectations and is a centerpiece of regional transportation and development. However, the bus and rail system is "literally falling apart" without the necessary funds to make capital improvement to meet future demand. Transit bureaucracy in the Washington region is unique in that it requires the coordination of two states and the District of Columbia on all matters from operations to budgets.

Thanks to Peter Buryk

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Published on Sunday, December 26, 2004 in The Washington Post
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