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Best News from the State Legislature (For MoCo)

Editors' Pick

After years of enduring breakdowns and delays, Montgomery County commuters reliant on the Metro rail system received good news when the 2018 session of the Maryland General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a funding measure sponsored by Del. Marc Korman of Bethesda and Sen. Brian Feldman of Potomac. The legislation initially proposed a $125 million a year increase in the state’s contribution to Metro, but it later was raised to $167 million. Coupled with commitments from Virginia and the District of Columbia, the move by Maryland provides an extra $500 million annually that Metro officials said was necessary to ensure safety and reliability. It also creates the first permanent dedicated funding stream for Metro—which, since it began operations more than four decades ago, had been the only major mass transit system in the nation without such a dedicated financial source. One political factor driving the support for more Metro money by the legislature and Gov. Larry Hogan was the need for dependable mass transit to reach the Montgomery County site along the Red Line that was a finalist for Amazon’s second headquarters. While that site was ultimately passed over, the system’s reliability will nonetheless be key to those Montgomery residents commuting to Amazon HQ2’s future location near the Crystal City, Virginia, Metro stop.

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