Making Democracy Work

Metro "Fund It + Fix It" CALL to ACTION

Metro Call to Action

Metro "Fund It + Fix It" Call to Action forum

Learn more about Metro and its funding. Join with others to be part of the solution!

Moderator: Martin Di Caro, WAMU Saturday, October 7, 2017 - 9:30 am to 2:30 pm

NRECA + National Rural Electric Cooperative Association 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203

Forum Flyer

LWVNCA undertakes "Fund it + Fix It" action plan supporting Metro

National Capital Area Leagues undertake "Fund it + Fix It" action plan supporting Metro*

Some 40 years after the League of Women Voters of the National Capital Area (LWVNCA) adopted positions in support of Metro, including a dedicated source of funding for the then-new rapid transit system, it has joined with more than a dozen nonprofit organizations in backing a call for dedicated funding for the system. While a major emphasis of the original positions was to get people out of their cars, along with the need for adequate financing, the current emphasis is to obtain the funding that will allow Metro to fix the system so that it will continue to reduce traffic congestion in the DC area--while serving as the economic engine for the region.

A major impetus for action to solve Metro's funding crisis has been the recent studies and reports issued by major components of the civic structure in the region addressing both the problem and proposed solutions. These include: the Council of Governments, business groups, chief administrative officers of local jurisdictions, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation Transit Capital Project Revenue Advisory Board as well as support from regional faith groups, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, environmental groups, etc. As the heading for a recent article by Greater Washington noted, "Almost everyone agrees WMATA needs funding." At this time (when writing), there is major anticipation of the results of a review by the LaHood Commission initiated by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and of an August 28th summit at Mt. Vernon where Governors McAuliffe (VA) and Larry Hogan (MD) and District Mayor Muriel Bowser will discuss how to fund Metro.

Not waiting for agreement on the amount of funding required to get Metro healthy and keep it that way, or the specific methods to be used to obtain the revenue, the League and other groups are moving ahead with plans to generate support for whatever plans are eventually proposed for adoption by the three WMATA jurisdictions (District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia + DMV)

LWVNCA Metro Funding Action Co-Chair Edith Snyder represented the LWV in an August 18 webinar on Metro hosted by the Virginia Conservation Network in conjunction with the Coalition for Smarter Growth. "Metro 101: Building the Conservation Case for a Strong Metro System in Virginia" tied climate change to the transportation sector, underscoring the critical importance of accessible public transportation throughout the Commonwealth. Stewart Schwartz and Pete Tomao of the Coalition for Smarter Growth provided background on the connection between climate and transportation in Virginia and detailed the ways in which Metro, in particular, is currently underfunded and in dire need of repairs.

Snyder, Co-chair with Nancy Soreng of LWVNCA's committee, described for the webinar attendees the League's long-time commitment to Metro. "The League supported the system when it was first proposed and constructed, and we're not about to abandon it now," she said. Snyder noted that the League of Women Voters will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2020 and that it is an organization built on grassroots advocacy. It is this legacy that LWVNCA and its member local Leagues in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are bringing to activities in support of the Metro funding needed to provide frequent, reliable service. In particular, the regional League is:

  • Hosting a forum with CSG on October 7, 2017, titled "METRO Fund It + Fix It! A Call to Action." This event will be held at NRECA, the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, 4301 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22203, from 9:30 am to 2:00 pm. All Leagues in Virginia are invited to attend. The forum will feature an opening panel on Metro's history, value and economic benefits, challenges, and proposed fixes. This session will be moderated by radio station WAMU's Martin Di Caro and followed by a presentation of the "Fund It, Fix It Campaign" by LWVNCA, CSG, and other nonprofit organizations. This will lead into breakout sessions focusing on facilitated development of specific grassroots action plans for jurisdictions in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Snyder said the goal is for all attendees to leave the forum empowered and equipped to advocate for effectively funding a dependable Metro.
  • Producing a fact sheet about Metro for the forum and general distribution.
  • Working with CSG to create and circulate a petition to canvass and organize Metro riders who support the call for Metro funding and improved service.
  • Creating candidate questions about Metro for Virginia's November 2017 state and local elections. To access the webinar, please go to the following link: https://web.telspan.com/play/vcnva/5111-statewide-metro-transit-funding-101 and enter the password "metro101". To sign up for the forum, go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/metro-fund-it-fix-it-a-call-to-action-tickets-36901682927.

NOT FOR NOVA ONLY

LWVNCA is asking that all LWV members in Virginia support both the call for approval of a method of funding Metro's capital and operating needs and for transit throughout the Commonwealth, because all are affected by its economic, social, and environmental benefits.

  • The billions of dollars of projects built near Metro generate tax revenue not only for NOVA, but Metro generates economic activity worth some $600 million per year in state income and sales taxes. What state support of local services would be affected by a state revenue shortfall due to a failing Metro? Will businesses move to other more supportive locales or not move to Virginia in the first place and how will this affect state revenues?
  • How could seniors, millennials, and the disabled and low income residents lacking cars survive without Metro or other local transit?
  • 65% of Virginia's population and 65% of its gross state product are located in the "urban crescent" from Hampton Roads to Richmond, Frederick to NOVA, and most of its growth is projected in the corridor. Without transit, how would these areas continue to attract the people and business to keep Virginia strong?
  • With traffic congestion getting to be a problem with state-wide impact, how would greater reliance on the automobile affect Virginia's everyday living, the transportation of goods, and its environment and contribution to climate control?
  • And lest we forget, how would more traffic and congestion and less Metro and other transit in Virginia affect emergency preparedness and plans?
  • If Metro fails, how many Virginia jobs are lost either directly or in the construction of Metro cars and systems?

  • League members Therese Martin, Edith Holmes Snyder, and Deb Wake contributed to this article.

News Articles Regarding Metro Funding

9.17.2017 WaPo Metro board chairman splits with Wiedefeld, says $15.5 billion request is too conservative

9.17.2017 WaPo Metro-says-it-needs-$15.5-billion-over-10-years-and-thats-just-so-it-doesnt-get-worse

9.15.2017 WaPo Virginia-gets-more-from-metro-than-it-gives

9.11.2017 WaPo Two-weeks-after-saying-no-more-for-metro-Hogan-offers-500-million-extra-if-others-match-it

9.2.2017 WaPo Behind closed doors, region's leaders clashed sharply over Metro funding

8.28.2017 Washington Business Journal New analysis says Metro sales tax would unfairly burden poor families, suggests new tax on businesses

8.28.2017 WTOP DC mayor and Md., Va. governors meet for Metro, local issues

8.27.2017 WaPo Ahead of regional summit, left-leaning policy groups say `No' to a sales tax for Metro

8.26.2017 WaPo The District's death wish for Metro

8.25.2017 WTOP Lack of spare parts, training hinders Metro railcar maintenance: Report

8.24.2017 WaPo New dispute over cost of fixing Metro pits District against Virginia, Maryland

8.23.2017 WAMU Return Of Metro Safety Oversight To Washington Approved By Trump

8.23.2017 WAMU A New Metro Safety Commission Is Coming, Will It Be More Effective

8.13.2017 WTOP Plan to fix Metro soon to be public

8.12.2017 Frederick News Post Regional leaders will discuss Metro funding

8.11.2017 WaPo McAuliffe, Hogan and Bowser to meet Aug. 28 to try to narrow differences over Metro

8.11.2017 Loudoun Times Loudoun leaders pitch alternative Metro funding plan to rival regional sales tax proposal

7.19.2017 WTOP Metro funding fight continues with new Loudoun Co. proposal

7.7.2017 WaPo Study 'Buy America' imposes costly burdens on Metro and other transit agencies

7.6.2017 Inside NoVa Arlington Sun Gazette editorial Finances must be first step in Metro reform

6.30.2017 WaPo DMV Congress members to federal transportation officials We're fixing Metro. Now give us our money back.

6.29.2017 NYT Cuomo Declares a State of Emergency for New York City Subways

6.29.2017 WaPo For Metro, a coupon for a cup of coffee brings out the passion -- good and bad

6.27.2017 Greater, Greater Washington Almost everyone agrees WMATA needs funding

6.27.2017 WaPo Nonprofits say Metro needs dedicated funding before next fiscal year, even if gridlock delays labor, governance reforms

6.27.2017 COG RECAP At its June meeting, the TPB endorsed COG's Metro principles

6.23.2017 WAMU Metro At A Crossroads Which Way Will Riders Go

6.23.2017 WaPo With two arcing insulators and a Red Line meltdown, Metro riders wonder What did SafeTrack achieve

6.22.2017 WTOP 7 things to know about the upcoming Metro fare hikes

6.22.2017 WaPo 21 D.C.-area business groups agree on plan to fix Metro's finances, governance

6.21.2017 WTOP 5 things to know about Metro's cuts to rush-hour service, routes

6.21.2017 WTOP 6 things to know about Metro's new hours

6.21.2017 WaPo Holmes Norton to business leaders Want to save Metro Pull your strings

6.21.2017 Wash Times Metro's proposed reforms approved

6.20.2017 WaPo Metro opts for low-tech solution to track safety-- face-to-face conversations

6.18.2017 WaPo Md. lawmakers have plan to remake Metro and let each jurisdiction decide how to pay for it

6.16.2017 Coalition for Smarter Growth 4 new reports, 1 struggling Metro system

6.1.2017 WaPo Metro to launch new series of maintenance blitzes once SafeTrack ends. But don't call it SafeTrack 2.0.

5.27.2017 WaPo Slim majority of Northern Virginians favor regionwide sales tax to fund Metro

5.10.2017 WaPo Metro's new watchdog: Where there's money, there's often fraud, and if it exists, we want to find it

5.10.2017 WTOP In suggesting Metro fixes, LaHood plans to focus on consensus

5.7.2017 WaPo Grass-roots activists call for $1 billion in annual Metro funding -- and they have a plan

4.26.2017 Smarter Growth.net Regional groups respond to MWCOG report and call for dedicated funding for Metro

4.20.2017 WTOP What you need to know about Metro GM's plan to fund transit

4.19.2017 WaPo Metro GM proposes `new business model' and $500 million a year in extra funding to save D.C.-area transit agency

3.30.2017 WaPo Metro union calls for flat fares, dedicated taxes to rescue ridership and finances

3.23.2017 WaPo Virginia Gov. McAuliffe taps Ray LaHood to head panel to study Metro

3.23.2017 WaPo Metro makes it official Higher fares, reduced service coming July 1

3.21.2017 WaPo Trump budget blueprint doesn't bode well for Metro, Sen. Tim Kaine warns

3.17.2017 WTOP GOP-leaning group's analysis backs dedicated funding for Metro

3.16.2017 WaPo Trump budget plan would deal blow to Washington region's transit; Purple Line at risk

3.9.2017 GGWash.org Metro's 7000 series cars are starting to prove their worth

2.28.2017 WaPo Influential business group says Metro needs an emergency control board now