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Arlington Sounds Alarm on Transportation Bill

Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes is warning that a transportation bill approved by the House Ways and Means committee on Friday could have significant reprocussions for the Metro transit system and, by extension, Arlington.

The transportation bill would eliminate the dedicated funding stream for federal transit programs and grants — 2.86 cents of the 18.4 cent federal gas tax — replacing it instead with one-time funding.

The federal government contributed about $150 million in dedicated funding to Metro’s budget in the current fiscal year, and more than 50 percent of its current capital improvement budget. Should federal funding be cut, which would be more likely without a dedicated source of revenue, Hynes warns that Metro and Arlington County could suffer greatly.

“Arlington relies on transit. Our whole region relies on transit to move hundreds of thousands of people off our already clogged roads,” Hynes said in a statement. “The gasoline tax supports Metro, the backbone of mass transit in our County and the region. If the House proposal were to become law, it would make budgeting and capital funding for Metro, and for transit systems across our nation, nearly impossible.”

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