Virginia lawmakers approve $150M in funding for Metro

- Virginia lawmakers have approved a plan to pay for the state's share of $500 million a year in new funding to improve the Washington-area's struggling public transit system.

Lawmakers approved the legislation Saturday directing about $150 million to Metro, with supporters saying it would use existing transportation money for Northern Virginia and not raise new taxes. Opponents said the funds could be better spent on roads.

Metro GM/CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld released a statement after the funding plans were announced calling it "historic legislation."

A 2017 study by former U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recommended that Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia provide annual dedicated funding of $500 million for capital costs.

Virginia's plan still needs to be approved by Gov. Ralph Northam.

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