As a long-term resident of Northern Virginia, I have been frustrated year after year to hear of a funding crisis for Metro or breakdowns affecting safety and reliability. In Virginia we were always faced with a hostile legislature that was controlled by downstate interests who did not see value in supporting mass transit. Meanwhile Metro suffered from the lack of a secure funding source.
This year we see a different picture with the results of last November’s election which found the Democrats just one vote short of winning control of the House of Delegates. Elections matter and now we see the real impact of an election that empowers the Northern Virginia delegation to deliver support for Metro funding.
I was pleased to see the Northern Virginia delegation in the House and Senate take leadership on the Metro funding issue. Sen. Jennifer Wexton in particular was a strong supporter of the annual $154 million in permanent funding. This was a historic step in securing for Metro a significant source of dedicated revenue that it has lacked since the subway opened in 1976. I truly see that we are in a new area where our voices are now heard in Richmond. It is critical that we not only keep the Democrats in control in Richmond, but also have an Democrat like Jennifer Wexton in Congress who can protect the federal investment in Metro.