Delaney Authors Bill to Reform Metro

Last week Congressman John K. Delaney filed legislation to reform Metro and professionalize the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Board of Directors. Currently, Maryland, […]

Last week Congressman John K. Delaney filed legislation to reform Metro and professionalize the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Board of Directors. Currently, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia and the federal government each appoint four members of WMATA’s 16-member Board.

Delaney filed the legislation after repeated safety failures at Metro, which has a daily ridership of over 700,000.

Delaney’s legislation, the WMATA Governance Reform Act, requires that a majority of the federal appointees the be certified as experts in one of the four following categories: transportation, management, finance or safety. The bill also requires that the federal government strive to have their appointees reflect the diversity of the communities served by Metro. Should a new Metro Compact be established, these standards would apply to all WMATA jurisdictions.

Coverage from WAMU on Delaney’s legislation below:

“We are saying that at least three of these four people have to have a threshold level of expertise that will make them good stewards and fiduciaries of Metro,” Delaney said.

His proposal also would eventually apply to D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. They each appoint four members to WMATA’s board. The legislation would not alter the overall board structure of sixteen appointees with two voting and two non-voting (alternate) members from each of the four jurisdictions.

“We’re simply saying that in your appointment process, however you decide to do it, that you have to meet these standards,” Delaney said. Each jurisdiction makes its appointments differently.

The congressman called for reforms at a recent House oversight committee hearing during which federal lawmakers blasted Metro for management failures.

“The scale of this failure at Metro is almost unimaginable,” said Delaney on April 13. “But what we haven’t talked at all about is the board and the governance system because you can only blame management for so long. Ultimately a board — a fiduciary board — is responsible.”

For full WAMU story, click here.