District, Maryland, Virginia leaders pledge $75 million for Metro’s long-term projects

Correction: An earlier version of the article incorrectly explained fines that could be imposed on the contractor for Metro’s new Silver Line. The contractor faces a penalty of $2.3 million and an additional $75,000 a day if work is not completed by 90 days after an April deadline. This version has been corrected.

March 1
the region
Region’s leaders pledge more money for Metro

Metro transit leaders on Wednesday scored some of the cash they need to carry out the ambitious goals for rail and bus service in the next decade.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) announced after a regional summit in Arlington County that they are collectively committed to giving the transit authority an additional $75 million beyond pledges already made for Metro’s long-term projects.

McAuliffe said the leaders “agreed in principle” to providing the funds, subject to the will of lawmakers in the three regional jurisdictions. McAuliffe said the new money should serve as proof of the local commitment to Metro and should lead federal authorities to authorize additional funds for the system.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles called it a “terrific day” and said the new funding commitment is over and above the capital funding pledged to bring the system into a “state of good repair.”

— Robert Thomson and Mike DeBonis

the district
D.C. Circulator considering new routes and fares

Managers of the D.C. Circulator bus system are set to reintroduce a route around the Mall in 2015, but they also will consider other new routes and expansions of existing routes.

The original intent of the city’s bus system was to connect activity centers, and that remains a top priority, D.C. transportation planner Circe Torruellas said during a forum to discuss the service’s future.

Transit managers also are discussing whether to change the Circulator emblem and whether the schedule, which calls for buses to arrive every 10 minutes, should change. For example, should routes with lower ridership have a frequency of every 12 to 15 minutes? Should a new generation of routes abandon the 10-minute rule so the service can fit the new routes’ needs?

— Robert Thomson

$2.3 million

The fine the contractor for Metro’s new Silver Line faces — plus an additional $75,000 a day — if the project is not finished by 90 days after an April deadline.

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