DC mayor, Va. and Md. governors find little consensus on Metro funding

Metro (AP PhotoPablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP/ABC7) -- The governors of Maryland and Virginia and the mayor of Washington found little consensus on how to fund the struggling Metro subway system at a regional meeting to discuss economic development.

Democratic District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that Metro needs a dedicated funding source, likely a regional sales tax.

But Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan wouldn't commit to that plan. McAuliffe says Metro must show it has improved safety and reliability before it gets more money. Hogan says Maryland is spending "as much as we'd like to spend" until the system improves.

The nation's second-busiest transit system has experienced declining ridership amid ongoing safety and reliability issues and is undergoing a 9-month maintenance blitz that's closed sections of track.

Mayor Bowser stated rail is critical because the gridlock it's creating hinders business. She also said there's a need for regional funding to help make improvements.

The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments praised the lawmakers for the forum in a letter sent to the lawmakers.

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