* Transit Service Metro operates the second-busiest subway and the fifth-busiest bus system in the nation. The lines serve a 1,500-square-mile area in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
* Governing Metro The system is a partnership between federal and local governments to serve the national capital region. Congress has oversight responsibilities. Metro is governed by a board of directors appointed by the participating local governments.
* Who Pays The federal government has paid 69 percent of Metro's construction costs. Fares and other revenue fund 56 percent of daily operations, and state and local governments fund the rest.
* Proposed Changes Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) has introduced a bill that would grant Metro $1.5 billion, add two federal representatives to Metro's board, create an inspector general's post and require local governments to provide Metro with a guaranteed source of revenue.
* Land Use Issue The bill includes provisions that affect development plans on Metro property near the Vienna, Takoma and Largo Town Center rail stations.
On the Web A special report on Metrorail is on The Post's Web site at www.washingtonpost.com/metrorail. A transcript of an online discussion with Davis is at www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline.