On Capitol Hill, a House panel has made a big funding cut that could affect Metro's ongoing rebuilding program.
Each of the past six years Metro has received $150 million from the federal government, part of a 10-year, $1.5 billion program approved by Congress to help Metro rebuild its rail system after the fatal 2009 Red Line crash. But Tuesday a House appropriations subcommittee slashed next year's funding in half, to $75 million.
The money pays for the ongoing track work that often disrupts service on weekends but is crucial to catching up on years of deferred maintenance. The funds also help pay for new railcars that are more crash-resistant than the rail system's original railcars, which failed to protect passengers in the 2009 disaster at Fort Totten. . . .Click here for the rest of this brief story.
While a subcommittee's actions do not alone determine the fate of Metro funding, the decision is a strong condemnation of WMATA's management of Metrorail, especially its finances which are in absolute disarray.
If the subcommittee's action stands, it will either (or both) mean higher local taxes to offset the losses or years-longer delays in improving Metrorail's track condition and replacing its more dangerous older passenger cars. None of this is good.