Today's read: Maryland stiffs Metro
Maryland won't pay its Metro share: Annapolis has blamed a strapped budget for its unilateral decision to shortchange Metro by $28 million in capital funds that it promised this year. But the District and Virginia are also struggling, and they're paying Metro in full and on time. (Robert McCartney)
"The bigger issue is better management of Metro, better oversight of Metro," Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) told McCartney on Wednesday.
Retroactively connecting the money and the management is weak. The Maryland governor has had plenty of time -- and power -- to move Metro in the right direction. He had two better arguments that he could have used.
Maryland is different. No other local jurisdiction that funds Metro has so many other transportation systems to worry about during an economic downturn. Marylanders -- most of whom do not use Metro or live close to Metro -- want money for their roads, the MARC trains, the commuter buses, the Baltimore subway and the city buses.
When the District or Arlington or Alexandria talk about their contributions to Metro, they are talking about services that crisscross the hearts of their communities. When their leaders are asked where the money is going, they can point out a window at a Metrobus stop. That doesn't work in Baltimore, Garrett County or the Eastern Shore.
Where did the money we gave go? Instead of Maryland sending a note to Metro saying that the state wasn't going to kick in its money, O'Malley could have announced to everyone that before the state gave more to the transit authority to buy new rail cars, it wanted a better accounting of how capital money has been spent over the past five years.
The current Metro Matters capital budget was the one that promised that if all the jurisdictions kicked in, then by 2010, half of the trains at rush hour would be eight cars long. Well, it's 2010, Metro got the money from the jurisdictions, but it hasn't come anywhere near meeting its promise about the eight-car trains.
Why should Maryland send more money when Metro hasn't delivered on its earlier promise?
Try that argument, and get an answer from Metro, rather than trying to retroactively create reasons for withholding the money.
May 6, 2010; 10:20 AM ET
Categories: Metro , Transportation Politics | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, MetroAccess service cuts fare increases, Metrobus, Metrorail
Save & Share: Previous: Red Line delays cleared
Next: Bay Bridge backups expected
Posted by: island1 | May 6, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: member8 | May 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: WashingtonDame | May 6, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: stuckman | May 6, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: rtthomson1 | May 6, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: CubsFan | May 6, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: shaunzy237 | May 6, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: vtavgjoe | May 6, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | May 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: tspack | May 6, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nocando | May 6, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rtthomson1 | May 6, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ceebee2 | May 6, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: WashingtonDame | May 6, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ssolomo | May 6, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pikamander007 | May 6, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.