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Posted at 2:12 PM ET, 11/23/2010

McDonnell, O'Malley, Gray vow to change Metro governance

By Anita Kumar
Anita Kumar

As we told you Monday, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and D.C. Mayor-elect Vincent Gray (D) spoke this morning about Metro governance after a recent report that recommends that the three jurisdictions be given greater oversight of the transit agency.

"It is obvious that much must be done, both immediately and in the long-term, to reverse the serious decline in safety, performance and reliability currently being experienced by Metro and to restore the system to preeminence among the nation's transit operations,'' the three men said in a joint statement.

Last week, a task force of the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments issued a 35-page assessment that calls for "dramatic changes" in how Metro is run that included a recommendation on its governance structure.

The 18-member task force, composed of business and political leaders from the region, recommended that Virginia, Maryland and the District change the Metro agreement to increase the number of members from two to three for each jurisdiction, with one member appointed by the chief executive of each jurisdiction.

"We have reviewed and discussed the report and agree that WMATA's governance structure needs reform,'' they wrote.

McDonnell, O'Malley and Gray have directed their staffs to have a plan within 45 days. The three will meet with members of Congress because implementation of some of the recommendations would require congressional consent.

By Anita Kumar  | November 23, 2010; 2:12 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar, Robert F. McDonnell  
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Comments

Kudos to the three executives - Mayor-elect Gray (D), Gov. O'Malley (D) and Gov. McDonnell (R) - for their bipartisan approach to the much-needed reform of the Metro Board.

By contrast, two local Congressman from N.Va. - Moran (D) and Connolly (D) - have already announced their opposition to Metro reform (http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/11/mcdonnell_welcomes_proposed_st.html). They seen far more interested in protecting Metro Board seats for their political allies (Zimmerman and Hudgins) than in improving the system.

Let's hope the Task Force and three executives can rally support to overcome the narrow partisan obstruction from Moran, Connolly and company.

Posted by: jrmil | November 24, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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