On February 23, 2017, Federal City Council CEO and Executive Director Tony Williams released the following statement on Metro Reform:
In light of the most recent distressing financial and operational reports from Metro, the Federal City Council stands firm on its stance to pursue action that would lead to a new WMATA Compact. The WMATA organization is constrained by an outdated, multi-jurisdictional agreement that no longer reflects the transportation needs and political dynamics of our region. Metro is a vital and indispensable transportation system that is directly tied to the economic health of the region. If the system fails, the region’s economy will falter.
The Federal City Council continues to follow a path toward Metro reform that calls for legislation that results in the establishment of an operationally and financially sustainable system governed without competing political interests. Specifically, through legislation, we support the passage of a new WMATA Compact that will create a smaller, more effective governing body, embed efficiency and innovation into system operations, and provide for predictable and reliable funding.
Hypothetically, regional leaders could agree to a new Metro Compact to rebuild the Metro system for the region. However, given the urgency of the situation and the demonstrated lack of coordinated leadership (see the Metro Safety Commission), it is reasonable to assume that true reform will not take place without an interim control entity to govern Metro, safeguard its finances and get it back on track. With so much at stake, we believe that immediate action is needed and we must thoughtfully pursue this option.
Whatever path is chosen, local and federal leaders, residents, the business community and, ultimately, riders of the transit system must recognize that we are at a critical junction in the life of our regional transportation system. Together, we must move forward towards reform.
To see a list of regional stakeholders who have endorsed our approach towards Metro reform, please click HERE.