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Mayor Gray Urges House Leaders to Maintain Federal Funding Commitments to Metro

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WASHINGTON – Mayor Vincent C. Gray recently sent letters to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Kentucky) and Ranking Member Norm Dicks (D-Washington State) urging them to follow through on promised federal matching funds for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

“Extraordinary challenges face WMATA and it is obvious that much must be done, both immediately and in the long-term, to make improvements in the safety, performance and reliability of the transit system,” Mayor Gray said in the Feb. 9 letter. “With your continued support, I remain optimistic that the organization and its stakeholders will successfully meet these challenges. Metro has shaped this region and is an integral part of the fabric which makes the greater Washington area a vibrant, international capital city.”

The mayor noted that Congress has already appropriated $150 million in such funds – matched by District, Virginia and Maryland governments – for Fiscal Year 2010, and that maintaining the funding in Fiscal Year 2011 as previously authorized by Congress is vital to maintaining the system. He noted that more than one-third of Metro’s peak-hour riders are federal employees.

Copies of the letters are available to the media upon request.

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