Arlington County board vice chairman and Metro board member Chris Zimmerman says now “is the time to get scared” about Metro’s future.
In a Washington Post Op-Ed titled “The sky really is falling at Metro,” Zimmerman warns of dire consequences if the agency doesn’t get the full $11.4 billion it needs for infrastructure projects over the next decade. That “massive infusion of infrastructure investment” will only be possible if state and local leaders from D.C., Maryland and Virginia increase Metro’s funding, he writes.
Zimmerman proposes that localities, at minimum, maintain current funding levels while working to implement a new regional tax to fund Metro. Zimmerman also calls for the federal government to begin making annual payments to the agency.
Arlington is among the localities that currently contribute to Metro’s operating fund. The county board recently approved $24,191,077 in funding for Metro as part of its FY 2011 budget. Metro receives an annual subsidy of almost $600 million from local governments.
Zimmerman is campaigning for re-election to the county board this year.