WASHINGTON, DC – The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) Board of Directors is urging Congress to support the full federal share of $150 million in FY 2013 for capital and safety improvements for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The President’s FY 2013 budget recommends reducing the $150 million federal share by $15 million.
In a letter to Congress approved at the March 14 Board Meeting, COG Board Chair Frank Principi stated the proposed reduction in funding will “severely affect badly needed capital and safety improvements demanded by the National Transportation Safety Board, the Tri-State Oversight Committee, and WMATA itself.” He went on to warn it also “opens the door to additional federal or state funding cuts during the balance of the ten year authorization.”
The full federal share of $150 million had been appropriated in each of the previous three years. The District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia have each contributed $50 million annually to match the federal funding. This ten-year, $1.5 billion agreement was approved by Congress and the regional jurisdictions in 2009.
COG has consistently supported dedicated funding for Metro. A special panel organized by COG, the Greater Washington Board of Trade, and Federal City Council in 2005 recommended a federal-state funding partnership.