ANNAPOLIS, Md. - One day after Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a functioning Metro system could spell success or failure for the region to win Amazon’s second headquarters, the Maryland Senate Budget and Taxation Committee has opened hearings on the state’s new Metro funding bill.
This is a major step forward for decades-long quest to establish a stable funding source for Metro among Maryland, Virginia and D.C.
Maryland is considering a bill that would give Metro $167 million of the $500 million it needs in new dedicated funding for the transit system. The money would come from Maryland's Transportation Trust Fund.
The D.C. Council expects to pass its $178 million share to Metro sometime this spring.
Metro plans to use the money from D.C., Maryland and Virginia for the maintenance and repairs they have put off for years. But Del. Marc Korman, D-Montgomery, warned that with more money comes more oversight and they should make sure the new funds are not wasted.
“This is pretty important because Metro has had a problem with some of these issues in the past and we want to make sure they understand that we are holding them to a higher standard than they have been used to,” Korman said.
“One of the things that we need to do to convince a company like that to bring $50,000, $100,000 a year jobs is that people can get to and from work,” said Gov. Hogan. “Something had to be done anyway, but maybe it helped bring the impetus to get other people excited about bringing Amazon to the Washington area. We have to have a functioning transit system.”
Virginia’s General Assembly approved $154 million of the commonwealth’s share of the funding for Metro and has sent the bill sent to Gov. Ralph Northam.
Hogan has also called the federal government to do its part and pony up its share of stable funding for Metro.