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New WMATA chair to focus on passengers, funding in 2005

Late last month, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) elected Fairfax County, Va., representative T. Dana Kauffman to serve a one-year term as chairman. Yesterday, he led his first board meeting and outlined his goals for the year.

Kauffman plans to provide opportunities for passengers to play a more active role. Beginning in April, the board will hold a public comment period at the start of each monthly meeting. In addition, Kauffman plans to establish a Riders Advisory Committee by July 1 to enable passengers to provide authority officials with regular feedback. He also will continue to hold town hall meetings.

Meanwhile, Kauffman plans to improve public access to WMATA’s records and documents. Starting next month, all board meeting materials will be available on WMATA’s Web site prior to a meeting. Beginning in June, board meetings will be available via computer simulcast. And in spring, passengers will be able to submit inquiries to board members by emailing

"By presenting this package of initiatives and involving our customers, we are making a collective commitment to outreach, availability and accountability," said Kauffman in a prepared statement.

Another goal: to secure a dedicated funding source for the authority. By mid-year, Kauffman expects to organize a summit comprising federal and regional officials to discuss options for a specific funding package.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/18/2005