Maryland politicians call for overhaul of WMATA leadership and funding

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WASHINGTON — A group of Maryland lawmakers is calling for an overhaul of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to streamline its governance and provide a steady income stream the agency says it needs.

Local media reported that WMATA's 16-member board would be replaced with a panel made up of the secretaries of transportation in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia and that members could not block a project in their jurisdiction without a majority vote, the Washington Post reports.

The three jurisdictions, plus the federal government, would make $500 million annual payments to WMATA, but each jurisdiction would decide how to raise the money. This would eliminate the inevitable friction that could arise if all parties had to agree on a single formula.

Under the proposal, WMATA also would have the authority to issue bonds for capital improvements.

The Associated Press notes that the group making the proposal are all Democrats.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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