Delaney Files Legislation to Improve WMATA Governance, Provide Riders with Better Service and Safety
WASHINGTON – Congressman John K. Delaney (MD-6) has filed legislation to reform the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA, also known as Metro) Board of Directors. Delaney’s legislation – The WMATA Management Reform Act – will require that the next three 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. Under the legislation, a majority of federal representatives on the Board must meet these requirements at all times. In the future, should a new Metro Compact be established, these requirements would apply to all participating jurisdictions.
“The problems at Metro are profound and it is an unassailable fact that riders have not received the level of service and safety they deserve. The WMATA Management Reform Act will improve Metro’s governance and make sure that the Board includes the experts we need to make Metro more reliable, more efficient and safer,” said Congressman Delaney. “Metro’s stark failures demand action and that starts with having certified transportation, safety, management or finance experts in place. My bill doesn’t remove the ability of local jurisdictions to choose their Board representatives, but it does ensure appropriate qualifications.”
The WMATA Management 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.