WASHINGTON - Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld says the transit system needs $15.5 billion dollars over the next 10 years to stay in service.
In a plan released on Wednesday, Wiedefeld says local government needs to provide dedicated funding of $500 million a year in order to pay for maintenance and equipment. His plan says labor costs need to be cut and the transit system should consider making pension benefits less generous.
"For this system to maintain the quality that we all want for this system we need to invest in," Wiedefeld said. "It’s a 40-year-old system. It's a $40 billion investment we’ve made to this system. And to protect that going forward - we need to make these types of improvements."
Wiedefeld said that the funding commitment needs to be made because of the importance of the system to the country. "This is an important system for the country, for the nation, for the nation's capital," he said. "It serves visitors and federal employees and - God forbid - when things happen from an emergency perspective it serves that. So we have to maintain the system to maintain all those needs."