The Northern Virginia Transportation Coalition issued the following statement in regard to legislation that moves critical funding form the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA) to WMATA (SFDC is a signatory):

The Northern Virginia Transportation Coalition (the Coalition) believes that a well-maintained, safe, reliable and fiscally sustainable Metro system is essential to Northern Virginia’s and the Commonwealth’s economic competitiveness. We have long supported the establishment of new, sustainable Metro funding, tied to implementation of appropriate operational, funding and governance reforms.

Securing $154 million/year to ensure Virginia can provide its share of WMATA’s annual capital funding needs has been a top Coalition priority for the 2018 Virginia General Assembly session. We continue to support this goal and appreciate all of the work to date by Governor Northam and House and Senate leaders to ensure Virginia meets its required share of funding.

After reviewing the General Assembly’s proposal, we are pleased that it provides $154 million per year. We are concerned, however, with the reliance on reprogramming more than $100 million dollars per year in existing regional and local transportation funds and the impact this will have on the region’s ability to meet other longstanding critical regional transportation needs.

In 2013, the General Assembly demonstrated strong leadership in approving long-needed new funding for transportation statewide and, for the first time, approving regional packages for Hampton Roads and Northern Virginia to help these regions address their own critical needs. While insufficient to meet all of our region’s needs, this funding has begun to chip away at essential transportation improvements.

Protecting existing regional transportation resources is imperative. Funding Metro should not be at the expense of addressing long-neglected regional transportation priorities.

For this reason, the Coalition believes it is absolutely critical that alternative funding sources be dedicated to Metro, significantly reducing the heavy reliance on current Northern Virginia Transportation Authority funds in the legislation that passed the General Assembly. These alternative funding sources should include allocation of additional state funding beyond the $30 million included in the funding proposal. As alternative funding sources are considered, they should be broad-based – not significantly or disproportionally impacting any one industry. The Metro system has been a major generator of billions in economic growth that has benefitted the Commonwealth’s General Fund and this statewide benefit should have greater recognition in the funding package.

The Coalition applauds the General Assembly for urging much-needed reforms that will help ensure that every dollar invested in Metro is spent efficiently, as well as for its commitment to meeting the $154 million goal to meet Virginia’s share of the systems capital needs. However, we urge Governor Northam to offer amendments that will reduce the heavy reliance on regional and, to some extent, local funding to address Metro’s funding needs by utilizing more alternative funding sources, including additional state money to support Metro, recognizing that, like Dulles Airport and the Port of Virginia, Metro is a core state asset that is vital to Virginia’s economic competitiveness.
Making Metro more sustainable and reliable should not result in making other parts of the region’s transportation network less sustainable and reliable.

The Coalition remains committed to working with the Governor and legislature to support a fully funded, safe and reliable as well as efficiently operated Metro system, while protecting the funding for other vital regional transportation improvements.

Signed:

Pat Dean, President, Associated Builders and Contractors – VA
Dennis Drinkard, President, Committee for Dulles
Holly Weatherwax, President, Dulles Area Association of Realtors
Doug Pickford, Executive Director/CEO, Dulles Area Transportation Association
John Boylan, President & CEO, Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce
Paul Kohlenberger, President
, Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce
Mark S. Ingrao, President & CEO, Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
Nancy-jo Manney, President & CEO, Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce
Ken Garrison, Executive Director, Heavy Construction Contractors Association
Tony Howard, President & CEO, Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce
Martha D. Marks, President, NAIOP-Northern Virginia: The Commercial Real Estate Development Assoc.
Lorraine Arora, Chairman of the Board, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors

Jon W. Lindgren, Executive Director, Northern Virginia Building Industry Assoc.
Jim Corcoran, President & CEO, Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce

Bobbie Kilberg, President & CEO Northern Virginia Technology Council
G. Evan Pritchard, Chairman of the Board, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance

Deborah Jones, President & CEO, Prince William Chamber of Commerce
April Thomas, CEO, Realtor Association of Prince William

Mark Viani, President, Southeast Fairfax Development Corp
Virginia Case, Chairman of the Board, Tysons Regional Chamber of Commerce
Keith Meurlin, President, Washington Airports Task Force

 

Click here to download the original document: 2018 – 03 Coalition Statement Metro Reform