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FCTA response to WaPo article on DC Metro problems

FCTA response to WaPo article on DC Metro problems

by Rob Whitfield, Feb 3, 2016

The following email regarding DC Metro's hiring of a top bankruptcy lawyer was sent to numerous transportation officials, local politicians, and news outlets:

Any WMATA Board and senior management member in the last thirty+ years should be subject to forfeiture of a portion of their government pension benefits for life due to their gross negligence. All I have heard from WMATA Board members in the last four plus years that I have attended their meetings is: "We will not reduce service and we cannot raise fares."

The WMATA Board and management have failed repeatedly to deal with reality regarding revenues and expenses. The November 2015 presentation by WMATA to MWCOG Transportation Planning Board projected expenses increasing at 6% annually for next decade while revenues were forecast to increase at only 1% annually. WMATA officials have weaseled their way out of obligations and commitments to Virginians regarding the Silver Line repeatedly. WMATA is supposed to reach agreement with local jurisdictions on an updated Comprehensive Funding Agreement by June 30, 2016. FAT CHANCE!!

Unfortunately, those assigned by Virginia to the WMATA Board and their alternates, plus members of Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, members of the General Assembly, VDOT Secretaries, the DRPT Administrators and recent Governors of Virginia have ALL totally failed the public in fulfilling their oversight duties for WMATA.

What are the plans, if any, of the present administration to address WMATA financial problems?

Del Hugo, I have requested you several times since last summer to convene a special meeting of the Joint Commission on Transportation Accountability to review the worsening WMATA financial situation. Resolving the financial problems won't be easy but a special task force including appropriately qualified financial experts and federal, state and local members must be appointed during this session of the GA to review the situation and suggest alternatives for action. As mentioned, the meetings of the JCTA Task Force must be held in Northern Virginia.

I look forward to learning about a proposed course of action on WMATA.

Rob Whitfield
Fairfax County Taxpayer Alliance