WAPO Editorial to Area Rep. Barbara Comstock: “Less Carping, More Funding”
The Washington Post Editorial Board has a message for area Congresswoman Barbara Comstock: “less carping, more funding.” This message is sure to fall on deaf ears as Barbara Comstock has yet to push her Republican colleagues to support a dedicated funding source used by most capital city metro systems to operate safely. Congresswoman Comstock instead continues to pat herself on the back for an annual allotment already in place years before her arrival to Capitol Hill.
This should be no surprise: Comstock’s record suggests she has the same disdain for funding Metro and critical transportation initiatives as many of her Republican colleagues. In the Virginia Legislature, she opposed funding to build the Silver Line and “opposed the most important state legislation in more than a quarter century to pay for improvements to roads, bridges, tunnels and mass transit.”
“Northern Virginians need a real advocate for Metro, not someone who pats herself on the back for an annual allotment of funding that was already in place before she arrived to Washington,” said Jermaine House of the DCCC. “To operate safely, ease traffic, and improve mass transit in Northern Virginia, Metro needs a dedicated funding source and Comstock isn’t willing to go against her party to support this important step.”
ICYMI: Washington Post: Less carping, more funding for metro
By Editorial Board
ON THE very morning Metro subway passengers were facing an unusually hellish commute — damaged insulators were the culprit in single-tracking and delays running 45 minutes on the Red Line, the system’s busiest — Congress added insult to injury by holding a hearing on Washington’s transit woes in which posturing, grandstanding and axe-grinding took center stage.
Rep. John L. Mica (R-Fla.) said he would present Metro General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld with a personal “certificate of appreciation” for firing 20 Metro managers and supervisors recently. (Mr. Wiedefeld said he took no pleasure in the firings.) His next move, Mr. Mica said, would be drafting legislation to privatize the entire Metro system.
Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), whose district includes Disney World, declared that the theme park’s rail system never breaks down. Metro should be “more like the Disney monorail,” Mr. Webster said helpfully.
Then there was Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who offered the suspect observation that Metro’s tracks catch fire more often than Great Smoky Mountains National Park, part of which is in his district.
To his credit, Mr. Wiedefeld, who has run the transit agency for six months, declined to be drawn into the largely irrelevant ruminations of these House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee members on Tuesday. He laid out the steps he is taking to pull the subway system together, while repeatedly reminding the committee that Metro, the nation’s only major transit agency that lacks a dedicated source of funding, could use one.
That point was ignored by all of the committee’s Republicans, several of whom seemed to suggest that Metro, which faces billions of dollars in medium- and long-term needs, is in fact overfunded.
Read full text here.