GBC voices alarm over surprise federal decision on Dulles Metro rail project

The Greater Baltimore Committee issued the following statement regarding the January 24 announcement by Bush Administration officials that they will likely not approve $900 million in federal funding for the Dulles Metro Rail project, as currently planned:

 

“This type of decision is myopic and has alarming implications relating to federal funding for all major transit projects in the pipeline nationwide, including several in Maryland,” said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee, a leading transportation advocate in Maryland.

“In Maryland, this abrupt decision raises serious concerns for several reasons. First, the Dulles rail project would play a major role in alleviating congestion on the Capital Beltway – congestion that inhibits the Baltimore-Washington region’s economy.

“Second, we have to wonder what implications this decision will have for those of us in Maryland who are seeking to secure long-awaited and much-desired federal “new starts” funding for our own planned rail projects, not the least of which are the Red and Green Lines for the Baltimore area.

“Finally, the reported communication disconnect between federal officials and Virginia state officials is alarming. It certainly calls into question the quality of communication that one can expect with federal officials regarding transportation funding.

“It is hoped that with support from the region’s congressional and other elected officials, and eventual discussions that are sure to ensue with federal transportation officials, and the White House, that an accommodation will be reached on the matter that allows this project to continue as it was intended and allows other projects to advance with a predictable evaluation process.

 

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