Metro needs cash and lots of it, officials say
Metro’s financial problems are so severe that the agency needs to obtain $800 million in loans and a long-delayed federal grant by September to avoid running out of money, District officials said last week.
Describing Metro’s cash-flow condition as “very serious,” an official in the District said that without the infusion of cash, “they’re insolvent.”
Metro said it is confident it can get the money, but the situation highlights the agency’s fragile financial status as General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld has begun warning that significant new funding is necessary.
First, Metro needs to raise its short-term borrowing from banks by $100 million in April. The board will be asked on March 23 to approve increasing Metro’s line of credit from $250 million to $350 million.
Second, Metro needs to obtain a grant of at least $130.9 million in June from the Federal Transit Administration that has been delayed for years. The FTA has held up the money because it said Metro lacked the proper paperwork.
Third, Metro needs to increase long-term borrowing by $575.2 million by September. The board has not yet approved floating those bonds.
“We’ve started seeing . . . the scraping of the bottom of the barrel. I’m worried.” Metro board member Tom Bulger