WITH IMPRESSIVE unanimity, fiscal good sense and an all-clear signal from the federal courts, the entire region -- the governments of the two states, the District and every local jurisdiction participating in building the Metro subway system -- has made its strongest case ever for continuing federal support to complete the full network originally agreed to by all. The latest good news comes from a federal judge who has ended a court battle that had blocked construction of a Green Line section for nearly three years. This action, coupled with a complete and financially sensible construction schedule supported by all Metro board members from around the region, is what the White House had sought as a necessary part of this transportation venture.
Now congressional authorization of federal funds to carry out the completion timetable can proceed on solid legislative grounds. And the administration officials who sought this necessary state and local financial commitment now should carry out their end of this good-faith bargain by supporting the approvals to go the last miles. This, after all, is the system initially agreed to and supported through the decades by administrations and members of Congress from both parties.
Obviously, costs of building the system are not going down over time. In fact, an orderly timetable for construction makes financial sense. That is why Republican and Democratic members in the House and in the Senate will be working for congressional approval of a workable financial formula that will not leave an important project hanging. The cooperation that has gone into the Metro subway project from the outset is a model of how local, state and federal governments can work to meet transportation needs. The continued understanding of Congress and the White House can keep it alive.