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Maryland, Washington and Virginia seek more funding for Metro during coronavirus pandemic

RICHMOND, VA. — The incoming Biden administration should provide increased funding for the mass transit system for the nation’s capital, leaders of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia said in a joint letter.

A news release from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s office Thursday said he, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser met virtually on Wednesday to discuss the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, also known as the Metro. They also discussed a variety of regional issues, including the COVID-19 response.

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The letter sent to President-elect Joe Biden urged him to make the federal government a fourth partner in funding WMATA. A copy of the letter was sent to Pete Buttigieg, Biden’s choice for transportation secretary.

“We strongly believe that maintaining a safe and reliable public transit system for the nation’s capital is a national priority and should be treated in that way,” the letter said. “WMATA serves as a linchpin to federal government operations, yet the lack of a federal contribution for operating WMATA fails to reflect this fact.”

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The mayor and two governors pointed to the financial challenges facing WMATA because of the COVID-19 pandemic. They said that without federal support, the authority would have to make service cuts and eliminate more than 3,800 jobs.

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