The Senate passed a transportation appropriations bill Tuesday that gives Metro $150 million, the third installment of federal dedicated funding to help fix the transit authority’s aging rail system.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations spending bill for fiscal year 2012 includes $150 million for Metro. The money is part of a federal funding commitment to spend $1.5 billion over 10 years to improve Metro safety and infrastructure. It requires a match from Maryland, the District and Virginia.

“For all that Metro does to keep government running, get people to work and get cars off the road, this investment in Metro is about safety,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), a senior member of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, said in a press release.

“We can’t be foolish when it comes to safety,” Mikulski said, adding that she wants “to ensure the federal government [meets] its funding responsibilities to make sure the region’s Metro system is safe and reliable.” 

The bill is headed to conference between the House and Senate in the coming days.

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