Metro does not plan to raise fares next year, but it also does not necessarily plan to increase service, even as it hopes riders come flooding back to the system.
The leaders of Northern Virginia’s five most populous jurisdictions pledged Wednesday to push back on the General Assembly’s move this year to pull money from regional transportation projects to provide dedicated funding for the Metro system.
A clearer picture is emerging of the amount of money pulled from other Northern Virginia transportation projects to be dedicated to Metro. Board members are also expressing some resistance to reforms required by the Virginia funding bill.
Virginia’s House of Delegates voted 50-48 to block proposed Northern Virginia hotel and real estate transfer tax increases to pay for Metro.
As Virginia’s General Assembly meets for its annual reconvened session Wednesday, the proposal for new dedicated funding for Metro ranks among the key issues.
The District is set to officially promise Friday morning to provide dedicated tax dollars to Metro, in one of the final steps required to seal a landmark regional funding deal.
A tax on hotel stays in Northern Virginia would rise from 2 to 3 percent to somewhat reduce the amount of money that would be taken from other transportation projects to pay for Metro, under amendments proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam just before a Monday night deadline.
The Maryland General Assembly wrapped up an unusually productive 90-day legislative session. Here’s a look at a few of the bills approved during the legislative session.
The Maryland legislature has passed a bill creating a dedicated stream of money for Metro. The bill to provide $167 million a year is heading to Gov. Larry Hogan’s desk; he is expected to sign it.
Maryland lawmakers have confirmed their intention to fully fund the state’s share of a Metro funding agreement between leaders from the state, Virginia and D.C.
“The only worse thing than the bill on the governor’s desk would be if it wasn’t there,” a Fairfax County supervisor said this week. “The funding mechanism — next to not having one — it’s about as bad as it could be.”
Despite concerns over Metro’s funding formula, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson promised Thursday to back new dedicated funding for the transit agency.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said the total amount — $154 million in annual funding — would remain the same, but he wants to see changes in where funding comes from so that other Northern Virginia transportation projects aren’t affected.
Metro will get a full $154 million per year requested from Virginia taxpayers to cover major capital repairs and upgrades, under a deal hammered out in the General Assembly. This is the first specifically dedicated tax funding for Metro in its nearly 42-year history.
It is do or die for the measure, ahead of adjournment expected by midafternoon, but several people familiar with the matter were extremely optimistic that a Metro funding deal would be presented to the House and Senate.