Rep. Don Beyer, who represents the Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital, issued the following statement today on the proposed FY 2022 WMATA budget:
“The proposed WMATA budget cuts would be apocalyptic for Metro service and devastate its workforce. This catastrophe must not be allowed to happen, and Congress can prevent it by passing a new aid package. WMATA is not alone in its massive funding shortfall, which is a direct result of the pandemic. Cuts like this will hit across the country without robust aid for state and local governments and specific targeted funding for transit.
“On the Joint Economic Committee we predicted massive, urgent need for state and local government funding at the beginning of April. The House passed a legislative package that addressed that problem and included $32 billion in transit funding in May, but Mitch McConnell has blocked additional aid. Senate Republicans’ obstruction is itself a crisis, and if it continues vast numbers of public sector workers will lose their jobs and Americans will see unimaginable and unnecessary cuts to services they depend on.”
The FY2022 budget would compensate for WMATA’s estimated $500 million shortfall by eliminating 2,400 jobs, bringing total job WMATA job losses to over a quarter of its entire workforce, closing a quarter of all Metro stations (19 stations), eliminating weekend service and evening service after 9 pm, and eliminating a third of bus routes.