Letter on Metro reform

June 22, 2017
The Honorable Muriel Bowser
Mayor of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004
The Honorable Larry Hogan
Governor of Maryland
100 State Circle
Annapolis, Maryland, 21401
The Honorable Terry McAuliffe
Governor of Virginia
1111 East Broad Street
Richmond, VA 23219
The Honorable Elaine Chao
Secretary
U.S. Department of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE 20590
Dear Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan, Governor McAuliffe, and Secretary Chao:
As leaders of regional civic and business organizations, we write to urge the signatories of the
governing compact of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to take
bold and innovative action to reform our regional transit system. It is our view that such action
is essential to put Metro on a sustainable path. Specifically, we believe that these reforms must
include changes to WMATAas governance, funding, and operations.
Metro is the lifeblood of our region. Our regional transit system connects our major
transportation hubs, creates walkable urban places, enhances both bicycling and walking as
commuting options, and has been the DMVas best example of regional cooperation.
Metro is, however, in a state of crisis.
For more than a decade, the business and civic community has been calling for action to reform
Metro with no success. Two recent developments give us confidence that the time for reform
is now.
aC/

Recent proposals have been embraced by various regional stakeholders, including key
institutional players such as WMATAas management, the Metropolitan Washington
Council of Governments (MWCOG) as well as influential Members of Congress.

Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan, Governor McAuliffe, Secretary Chao
June 22, 2017
Page 2
aC/

The recent appointment of former U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray
LaHood to perform an independent review of WMATA is welcomed by the business and
civic community. We believe his efforts will help build consensus for a comprehensive set

of reforms that will serve as the basis for legislative action in both states, the City, and the
federal government.

We reiterate our strong conviction that any reform effort must include reforms to WMATAas
governing, financial, and operational structures. Reform of any one structure alone will not be
sufficient. For instance, additional funding for Metro will only be beneficial if it is accompanied
by structural changes that give WMATAas board the flexibility to effectively allocate resources
and staff the flexibility to leverage additional resources to make operational improvements.
Our organizations believe the following changes are critical to WMATAas long term success:
Governance Reforms
iSS
iSS
iSS

Right size the WMATA board
Require directors to have expertise in specialized areas, including transit
operations, management, finance and safety
Ensure that the sole fiduciary responsibility of the Board of Directors is to the
organization

Funding
iSS
iSS
iSS

Require multi-year commitments from funding jurisdictions for operating funds
Identify a dedicated funding source for capital improvements (to allow for
borrowing)
Secure a continuing funding commitment from the federal government

Operations
iSS

Implement service and operating changes to improve safety, reliability and
ongoing operational savings

The ridership and employer community of the Metro DC region is aligned in its call to reform
WMATA. We commend you for recognizing the important role that WMATA plays in our region
and for your commitment to taking action to ensure that WMATA is put on a path towards
long-term sustainability and success. As a region, we have an opportunity and a responsibility

to fix Metro. That fix relies on changes to WMATAas governing structure, operating model, and
funding arrangement.
Mayor Bowser, Governor Hogan, Governor McAuliffe
June 22, 2017
Page 3
We look forward to continuing to work with you and others in the region to move WMATA
reform forward. Working together, we can once again make WMATA a model for regional
coordination and the cornerstone of our thriving regional economy.

Sincerely,

Federal City Council
Greater Washington Board of Trade
The 2030 Group
The Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington (AOBA)
The Consortium of Universities
The DC Building Industry Association
DC Chamber of Commerce
The Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance
Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce
Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Virginia Chamber of Commerce
Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
Prince Georgeas Chamber of Commerce
The Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce
Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce
Maryland Chamber of Commerce

Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Arlington County Chamber of Commerce
Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce