Md. of­fers bil­lions for Metro if oth­ers match it

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - — Robert McCart­ney and Faiz Sid­diqui

Mary­land Gov. Larry Ho­gan (R) up­ended the re­gional de­bate over Metro fund­ing by propos­ing to raise $2 bil­lion over four years in ad­di­tional fund­ing for Metro, with equal con­tri­bu­tions from Mary­land, Vir­ginia, the District and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

Ho­gan’s pro­posal, made in a let­ter de­liv­ered to Vir­ginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), nar­rowed their dif­fer­ences over fund­ing and ap­peared to in­crease chances that the re­gion could agree on a plan to save the agency.

McAuliffe said Ho­gan’s pro­posal falls short of a long-term fix for the tran­sit agency’s fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties, but he left open the pos­si­bil­ity that the plan could serve as the ba­sis for an in­terim so­lu­tion.

He joined Bowser in fault­ing the plan be­cause it does not pro­vide for a new tax or other per­ma­nent, ded­i­cated rev­enue source for Metro. Some politicians grum­bled that Ho­gan made the pro­posal be­cause he knew it was un­likely to be ac­cepted, and a Metro board mem­ber said the fed­eral gov­ern­ment would balk.

Over­all, how­ever, top Metro of­fi­cials and other re­gional lead­ers praised Ho­gan for tak­ing an im­por­tant first step to­ward reach­ing con­sen­sus, while they also warned that the plan falls short of a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion.

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