2018 | Transit

Updated: Metro Will Keep Riders’ Advisory Council

Cardin, Van Hollen requested that council not be abolished

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Metro will keep its Riders’ Advisory Council.

According to The Washington Post the transit agency voted at its meeting Thursday to end any discussion of dismantling the group, with board members stating that they were committed to revamping the group.

The Post reported earlier this month that Metro was likely to disband the committee — a group of 21 volunteer members from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia who have been meeting once a month since 2005 to give input on issues related to train, bus and MetroAccess service, the latter of which serves commuters with disabilities.

U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both Maryland Democrats, sent a letter Wednesday asking Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans to maintain the transit authority’s Riders Advisory Council. Cardin and Van Hollen were joined by Virginia Democratic Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner in making the request.

The senators noted in the letter that despite Metro’s “Back2Good” pledge of improved service following two years of constant trackwork and delays, “dialogue with the public is a critical element” of restoring public confidence in the transit system.

“At a time when WMATA is rebounding from years of deep safety and operational problems and rebuilding trust with riders, it is disappointing to see an effort that is interpreted as a lack of interest in public input. We hope you will reconsider your position on this and not vote to terminate the Council. It is important to show riders that WMATA is interested in hearing from the people it serves,” the senators wrote.

This letter follows several other requests to maintain the Riders Advisory Council that have been made by members of Maryland’s delegation in the House of Representatives, along with local elected officials in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com