Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

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The Jackson Graham Building, where Metro headquarters is located.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is a tri-jurisdictional government agency authorized by Congress, that operates transit service in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the Metrorail and Metrobus. WMATA is jointly funded by the District of Columbia, Virginia, and Maryland.

Services

Main article: Washington Metro
:
WMATA operates rapid transit service under the Metrorail brand, as well as fixed-route bus service under the Metrobus brand. WMATA is also part of the public-private partnership that operates the DC Circulator bus system. WMATA also has its own police agency, the Metro Transit Police.

Colloquially, Metrorail is known as "The Metro" and riders refer to WMATA's Metrobus as simply "the bus", unless they need to distinguish Metrobus from another local bus system such as Alexandria's DASH, or Montgomery County's Ride On. WMATA as a whole is often informally referred to as "Metro".

History

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WMATA Orion VI 2083 outside the Ballston-MU station in Arlington, VA.
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A view of the inside of a Metrobus.
WMATA was created on February 20, 1967, after the compact was approved by the Maryland General Assembly in 1965, and passed through the Virginia General Assembly and Congress in 1966. [1] WMATA broke ground for its train system in 1969. WMATA's bus system is a successor to four privately owned bus companies (DC Transit, the Washington, Virginia and Maryland Coach Company, the AB&W Transit Company, and the WMA Transit Company), which were sold to WMATA in 1973.

Future of Metro

Currently, the Metrorail is being extended to provide service to the Tysons Corner area of Virginia, with further extension to Dulles Airport. Phase I to Tysons Corner is expected to be completed in 2011. Phase II to Dulles is expected to be completed in 2015. No stations will be opened until the completion of each phase. This will add another color to the Metrorail system, silver. Drilling began in mid-2006. There are other rumors of a Georgetown Metrorail connector, an extension of the Green Line northward to BWI Airport, another line along I-395 or Columbia Pike in Virginia, and the Purple Line, which is a circular line to go along the Capital Beltway, particularly the portion between Bethesda and New Carrollton. While there has been much discussion about all of them, none is in any official planning stage. The Silver Line alone took more than ten years to start construction.

Organization

Board of directors

WMATA was set up with a board of directors, comprised of a total of 12 members. Of those 12, six are voting members, and six are alternates. Virginia, Maryland, and the District each appoint two voting members and two alternate members. The position of board chairman rotates between the three jurisdictions. Most board members have other jobs as well serving on, for example, the D.C. city council; the board appoints a CEO and general manager to supervise the day-to-day operation of the agency.

Leadership

At the outset, WMATA was led by general manager, Jackson Graham, a retired general in the Army Corps of Engineers, who supervised the planning and initial construction of the Metrorail system. He retired in 1976, and was replaced by Theodore C. Lutz. Richard S. Page, head of the Urban Mass Transportation Administration, took over as general manager of WMATA in 1979. [2] Page resigned in 1983, amid increasing financial difficulties for WMATA.[3] and was replaced by Carmen E. Turner,[4] who served for seven years.[5] Former New York City Transit Authority chief, David L. Gunn took over as head of WMATA in 1991,[6] followed by Lawrence G. Reuter in 1994,[7] and Richard A. White in 1996. White would serve as general manager for the next ten years. Dan Tangherlini replaced White as Interim General Manager in February 2006, and Jack Requa, WMATA's current Chief Operating Officer for Bus Service, assumed Tangherlini's duties as Acting General Manager on November 6, 2006. John B. Catoe, Jr., who was previously the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, became the agency's eighth permanent General Manager in January 2007.

Current leadership

General manager

On January 11, 2006, the Board of Directors announced the resignation of general manager, Richard A. White. He was replaced by board member Dan Tangherlini, as Interim General Manager, effective February 16, 2006. White had three more years in his contract to work for Metro, but had come under fire for mismanagement; however, he was also "widely credited with saving the Metrobus system from collapse and with keeping Metro running during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."[8]

John B. Catoe, Jr. was sworn in as the General Manager of Metro on January 25, 2007,[9] replacing Jack Requa, who had served as the Acting General Manager since November 6, 2006. Requa reassumed his duties as COO for Metrobus.

Board members

District of Columbia:
  • Jim Graham, second vice chairman and principal member
  • Emeka C. Moneme, principal member
  • Marion Barry, alternate
  • Anthony R. Giancola, P.E., alternate
Maryland:
  • Elizabeth M. Hewlett, chairman and principal member
  • Peter Benjamin, principal member
  • Marcell Solomon, alternate
  • Gordon Linton, alternate
Virginia:
  • Christopher Zimmerman, first vice chairman and principal member
  • Dana Kauffman, principal member
  • William D. Euille, alternate
  • Catherine Hudgins, alternate[10] [11]

Funding

In 2004, the Brookings Institution released a report entitled "Deficits by Design" that found the agency's serious budgetary challenges owe in large part to its problematic revenue base.[12] Most notably, Brookings found that WMATA's extraordinary lack of dedicated funding sources has necessitated an over-reliance on annually appropriated support that makes the agency vulnerable to perennial financial crises. As a result, the region's political and business leaders created a committee to look at new ways to fund the system, including some type of dedicated tax.

In 2005, Rep. Tom Davis introduced the National Capital Transportation Amendments Act that would provide a one-time cash infusion of $1.5 billion if the governments in the Washington area can come up with a dedicated revenue source for the agency.[13] The bill passed in the House and was referred to a Senate committee.[14]

See also

References

1. ^ Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Compact (pdf). Retrieved on 2006-04-19.
2. ^ Feaver, Douglas B. "DOT Official Is Named to Head Metro;U.S. Mass Transit Chief Is Named to Head Metro", The Washington Post, 1979, March 23. 
3. ^ Lynton, Stephen J. "Page Is Resigning As Metro Manager After Four Years", The Washington Post, 1983, April 3. 
4. ^ Lynton, Stephen J. "Metro Board Names Turner As Transit System's Manager", The Washington Post, 1983, July 1. 
5. ^ Kastor, Elizabeth, Stephen C. Fehr. "Metro's Top Official to Join Smithsonian", The Washington Post, 1990, October 3. 
6. ^ Fehr, Stephen C. "New Metro Chief Welcomes 'Challenge';Gunn Takes Helm of System as Problems of Age and Cost Loom", The Washington Post, 1991, February 22. 
7. ^ Fehr, Stephen C. "Board Pins Hopes On Next Metro Chief;Reuter Seen as a Superior Negotiator", The Washington Post, 1994, January 31. 
8. ^ Layton, Lyndsey. "Metro Drops Longtime Manager", The Washington Post, 2006, January 12. 
9. ^ Metro Press Release: Veteran Transit Executive John B. Catoe, Jr. appointed Metro's next general manager. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
10. ^ Metro – Principal Directors. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
11. ^ Metro Press Release: Elizabeth Hewlett and Peter Benjamin Join Metro's Board of Directors. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
12. ^ Puentes, Robert. "Washington's Metro: Deficits by Design", The Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, 2004. 
13. ^ "HR 3496 National Capital Transportation Amendments Act of 2005". 
14. ^ Thomas. The Library of Congress.

External links

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United States Congress

Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
President of the Senate
President pro tempore Dick Cheney, (R)
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Robert C.
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Transport or transportation is the movement of people and goods from one place to another. The term is derived from the Latin trans ("across") and portare ("to carry").
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Washington, D.C.

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Nickname: DC, The District
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All)
Location of Washington, D.C.
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metropolitan area is a large population centre consisting of a large metropolis and its adjacent zone of influence, or of more than one closely adjoining neighboring central cities and their zone of influence.
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Metrorail, or simply Metro, is the rapid transit system of Washington, D.C., and neighboring communities in Maryland and Virginia, both inside and outside the Capital Beltway, and is the second busiest in the United States behind the New York City Subway.
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WMATA MetroBus

New Flyer DE40LF 6004 in Capitol Heights, MD boarding passengers at the Addison Road-Seat Pleasant station.
Parent Company WMATA
Founded 1967
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
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Washington, D.C.

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Nickname: DC, The District
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All)
Location of Washington, D.C.
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Commonwealth of Virginia

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Nickname(s): Old Dominion, Mother of Presidents
Motto(s): Sic semper tyrannis

Official language(s) English

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State of Maryland

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Nickname(s): Old Line State; Free State
Motto(s): Fatti maschii, parole femine
(Manly deeds, womanly words)


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Metrorail, or simply Metro, is the rapid transit system of Washington, D.C., and neighboring communities in Maryland and Virginia, both inside and outside the Capital Beltway, and is the second busiest in the United States behind the New York City Subway.
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WMATA MetroBus

New Flyer DE40LF 6004 in Capitol Heights, MD boarding passengers at the Addison Road-Seat Pleasant station.
Parent Company WMATA
Founded 1967
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
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rapid transit, underground, subway, elevated or metro(politan) system is a railway — usually in an urban area—with a high capacity and frequency of service and grade separation from other traffic.
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Metrorail, or simply Metro, is the rapid transit system of Washington, D.C., and neighboring communities in Maryland and Virginia, both inside and outside the Capital Beltway, and is the second busiest in the United States behind the New York City Subway.
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bus is a large road vehicle designed to carry numerous passengers in addition to the driver and sometimes a conductor. The name is a neologic version of the Latin omnibus, which means "transport for everyone.
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WMATA MetroBus

New Flyer DE40LF 6004 in Capitol Heights, MD boarding passengers at the Addison Road-Seat Pleasant station.
Parent Company WMATA
Founded 1967
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
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Public-private partnership (PPP) describes a government service or private business venture which is funded and operated through a partnership of government and one or more private sector companies. These schemes are sometimes referred to as PPP or P3.
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The DC Circulator is a downtown circulator bus system in Washington, D.C., U.S.A.. It is owned by a public-private partnership among the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (which also operates the Metrobus system
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The Metro Transit Police Department (MTPD) is the police agency serving the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. It was created by the WMATA Compact on June 4, 1976.

The Metro Transit Police Department is unique in American law enforcement.
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Alexandria, Virginia

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Location in Virginia
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Country United States
State Virginia
Founded 1749
Government
 - Mayor William D.
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Driving Alexandrians Safely Home (DASH) is the public bus system for the city of Alexandria, Virginia, operated by the Alexandria Transit Company, a subsidiary of FirstGroup plc. In 2007 DASH converted its buses to allow the use of the WMATA SmarTrip, an electronic debit farecard.
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Montgomery County of the U.S. state of Maryland is situated just north of Washington, D.C. and Southwest of Baltimore. It is one of the most affluent counties in the nation[1], and has the highest percentage (29.
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Ride On is the primary public transportation system in Montgomery County, Maryland. Ride On serves Montgomery County as well as the Urbana Park and Ride lot in Urbana (Frederick County), and the community of Langley Park in Prince George's County.
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