Delaney Calls for Reform, Full Funding at Congressional Hearing on Metro Failures
WASHINGTON – Today, the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing on improving safety and reliability of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Metro system.
Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) testified at the hearing calling for full funding for Metro and governance reforms requiring experts serve on Metro’s Board of Director. Delaney is the author of the WMATA Governance Reform Act (H.R. 5105). Delaney’s legislation would require that the majority of federal appointees to WMATA’s Board are either: (1) a certified transit expert, (2) a certified management expert, (3) a certified financial expert or (4) a certified safety expert.
“For many years Metro hasn’t been reliable, hasn’t been managed well and hasn’t been safe enough – and Marylanders deserve better,” said Congressman Delaney. “Today’s hearing was an important opportunity for Metro leadership to inform local residents across the region on what steps Metro is taking to improve. Metro needs to be fully funded – and I will continue to fight for this priority – but we also have to make sure that Metro is properly governed and we have certified experts in place setting the right goals. I hear from Marylanders nearly every day about Metro’s problems and I will continue to work to build support for our legislation to reform the system.”
The WMATA Governance Reform Act
- There are 16 Members of the WMATA Board, 4 each appointed by Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government.
- The legislation requires the Federal Government to certify to the Board of WMATA that the next three federal appointees to the Board, either new appointees or those renewing their terms, are either (1) a certified transit expert, (2) a certified management expert, (3) a certified financial expert or 4) a certified safety expert. The legislation further requires that at least three of the four federal appointees have this certified expertise at all points going forward.
- For purposes of this provision:
- A certified transit expert is someone who has served in a senior executive capacity, or the equivalent, of a US transit authority,
- A certified management expert is someone who is currently or has previously served for 5 or more years as a president, chief operating officer, chief executive officer, chairman, or managing partner or equivalent position of a business or non-profit or be the president or the most senior manager of a division of a business and have, in his or her capacity managed, directly or indirectly, more than 1,000 full time employees.
- A certified financial expert is anyone who meets the standards of an audit committee financial expert under NYSE rules.
- A certified safety expert is anyone with a minimum of 5 years of experience as a chairman, director, senior investigator or equivalent position of a transportation or transit safety board in the United States.
- For purposes of this provision:
- The legislation requires that the Federal government strive to ensure that their appointees to the board reflect the diversity of the communities of the region served by WMATA.
- The legislation requires the Federal government insist on Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia agreeing to use these same standards for their own appointees if the WMATA Compact is amended.