Fairfax City will appeal to the Supreme Court the recent federal appeals court decision denying the city the right to recover $2 million it contributed to Metro subway construction.
The city, which last year also spotted paying its regional share of Metro-bus operating costs, had sued its neighboring jurisdictions and Metro, claiming they had abandoned the city by planning to drop the station closest to it - in Vienna at Interstate Rts. 66 and Nutley Road.
U.S. District Court Judge Oren R. Lewis ruled in the city's favor, but that decision was overturned in September by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. The appeals court rejected Lewis' reasoning, saying the record "is wholly insufficient" to support such a contention, particularly in light of Metro's current plans to complete the 100-mile Metro system, including the line along I-66 to Vienna.
At a City Council meeting Tuesday night, devoted almost entirely to transportation, the council voted unanimously not to rejoin the Metro bus system at present and to continue subsidizing a private express bus service for city commuters to Washington.
It voted unanimously to continue negotiations with Metro, however, in the hope that an agreement less costly to the city might be negotiated. It also decided to study the bus needs of city residents who cannot use the charter bus service.
The city is paying $114,000 a year to subsidize the morning and evening express buses, which now carry about 330 riders, 237 of them city residents. The estimated city share of Metrobus operating costs is about $140,000 this year, $200,000 next year and would rise to almost $300,000 by 1988.
The League of Women Voters and several residents urged the council to rejoin Metro, despite the additional cost, both to increase local bus service within the city - reduced after Fairfax withdrew from Metro - and because staying outside the Metro system is "undermining attempts to solve regional transportation problems," according to league spokesman Dorothy Neunert. The city is now the only local jurisdiction not supporting Metro.
The council, however, apparently was persuaded by the large number of speakers who favor keeping the popular express commuter buses and who oppose Metro's proposed share of costs for the city to rejoin Metro.