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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

Senators introduce bill to renew WMATA's federal funding

A new bill would renew the federal funding commitment to WMATA Metro for the next ten years.
Photo – wmata.com


U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-Va.) and Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen (both D-Md.) have introduced legislation that would renew the federal government's funding commitment for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for the next 10 years.

Congress has provided WMATA with $150 million annually for capital expenses — with Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia each providing $50 million in matching funds.

The Metro Safety, Accountability and Investment Act of 2021 would ensure that WMATA can continue to receive  full federal funding for an additional 10 years by reauthorizing funding levels from the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 through fiscal-year 2030, at an annual level of $150 million, matched by funding from Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

The legislation comes at a critical time for WMATA, which continues to provide service to essential front-line and federal workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, the senators said in a press release issued by Warner's office.

Additionally, this legislation would help bring about a series of safety, oversight, and governance reforms at WMATA by including an additional $50 million per year in federal funding that is not subject to local match, bringing the annual federal commitment to WMATA to $200 million.