Chairman Connolly, Congresswoman Norton to hold hearing on WMATA’s operations and oversightWritten by David C. Lester, Editor-in-Chief
A Congressional hearing on WMATA issues will be held tomorrow morning.
On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will hold a hearing to examine the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) responsibility to provide safe and reliable transit service to the National Capital Region.
As the third-largest heavy rail transit system and sixth-largest bus network in the country, WMATA is an essential component of transit for the functioning of the federal government. In 2019, prior to the pandemic, WMATA’s total ridership reached nearly 300 million trips per year with an average weekday Metrorail ridership of 626,000.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of WMATA to the region’s essential workers, it has also shed light on serious funding, operational, and safety concerns plaguing the region’s transportation system. On October 17, 2021, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission directed WMATA to remove all 7000-series rail cars from service following a derailment that exposed serious safety defects. As of today, the 7000-series rail cars will not be in service until WMATA puts in place additional protections and internal oversight ensure the safety of its passengers.
Wednesday’s Subcommittee hearing will evaluate these concerns and examine solutions to ensure WMATA can provide essential transportation services to the region.
For more information about the hearing, please follow this link.