Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner's failure to see that Metro is truly "America's Subway" is unfortunate {"Metro Doesn't Deserve Special Help From Congress," Close to Home, May 27}. Washington is the capital, and all Americans benefit from a government that will be well-served by a completed system.

Deeper reasons exist for the transit funding mess than merely a squabble over which city gets what. Poor U.S. transportation policies have left this country with a terribly imbalanced system. For decades, we encouraged roads and air travel at the expense of rail and transit systems. Pollution, reliance on foreign oil, increased risk of death or injury and less mobility for many of our citizens are the results.

This is certainly not the time for the federal government to declare that a level field for transportation funding exists and to merely walk away from Metro calling it a local responsibility. JAMES R. CHURCHILL Alexandria

Transportation Secretary Samuel Skinner states that Metro should not receive any special funding from the federal government. I can give at least eight reasons why Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority deserves special funding compared to other cities. These are: Arlington Cemetery, the Pentagon, Federal Triangle, the Smithsonian Institute, Federal Center SW, Capital South, the National Archives and Judiciary Square. Though local residents do use these stops, I believe that most users of these Metro stops are either federal employees or tourists. I do not see how these stations are of particular benefit to the local communities. SHERRY BLANTON Falls Church