Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (R-VA) released the following statement after she introduced The METRO Accountability and Reform Act, the largest reform to Metro since its inception:
“This Metro reform legislation represents a culmination of over a year of working together with a wide array of experts with an incredible combined experience in transportation,” said Congresswoman Barbara Comstock. “It provides substantial new funding for Metro, but only on the condition of making fundamental changes necessary to meet reasonable benchmarks of a functional mass transit system. Metro is a system in crisis and we need serious reforms to move our region forward and provide the public with a safe and efficient transit system. My office has collaborated with former Mayor Anthony Williams, and Federal City Council, as well as former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, former Virginia Transportation Secretary Jim Dyke, current Transportation Department officials including those with current Secretary Chao, General Manager Paul Wiedefeld along with others at WMATA, whistleblowers, and those affiliated with the successful efforts to turn the Boston transit system around and others.
“Years of deferred maintenance, increasing budget deficits and decreasing ridership on Metro threatens the safety and reliability of the system. Without significant reforms, the system will continue to decline and lose ridership and fail the nation’s capital which needs this vital system for the vitality of our local and national economy. The riders who use the system and the taxpayers who help support it deserve much better.
“This reform legislation reduces the use of overtime, shifts employees from a pension system to a 401k system (as recommended by the current manager), controls contract increases and promotes Metro ridership by improving reliability