The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is facing a serious financial crisis caused by a combination of an aging infrastructure and growing ridership.
If not addressed, WMATA officials said the funding shortage will result in an inability to meet the public's expectations for service reliability and demand for increased capacity to transport riders.
WMATA officials called upon federal, state and local partners to come together to fund the authority’s capital needs to sustain the transit system. WMATA requires $1.5 billion more than has already been committed over the next six years to protect and secure the $9.4 billion it took to build the Metrorail system, according to CEO Richard A. White.
“A re-commitment of the federal, state, and local partnership that created [WMATA] in 1967 is urgently needed before it is too late,” said White in a press release. “Approximately 1.15 million trips per day are made on [WMATA], and another 250,000 trips per day are made on the region's local bus and commuter rail systems. Without a viable transit system, the quality of life in our region will deteriorate, economic development will suffer, traffic on roadways will increase, and air quality will worsen."