EXCLUSIVE: Metro Board Chair: Gov. Hogan “Doesn’t Really Care about Metro”

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Steve Burns
WMAL.com

UPDATE: Governor Larry Hogan’s office has provided WMAL with a statement, which can be read here.

WASHINGTON – (WMAL) Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans is looking to scrounge up as much support as possible to keep Metro from raising fares and cutting service next year. Both were proposed in General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s budget draft. However, he’s finding more resistance than he’d like from Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s representatives.

Each of the three jurisdictions would have to pony up about $12 million more each next year in order to offset the new revenue and money saved from implementing fare increases and service cuts. Evans said the District is already on board, but it’s been a non-starter for Maryland. Hogan has said he’d like to see Metro improve its safety and reliability before he gives more money to the agency.

“It is vital that Metro work for Maryland, and I don’t see that reciprocity coming back,” Evans exclusively told WMAL. “Their argument will be that they have other things that are necessary out of their trust fund. They have a Metro system in Baltimore, highways that need money, so they don’t have any more money to give to Washington’s Metro.”

Evans further speculated that Hogan received little support from the D.C. suburbs during his run for Governor, and that could be factoring into his decision-making when he looks at spending money in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties.

“Those two counties didn’t support him, and actually the heads of one of those counties, (Prince George’s County Executive) Rushern Baker’s looking at running against him, so I suspect that if I were sitting the Governor’s office in Maryland, that would be part of my calculus,” Evans said.

Evans said 72 percent of Metro’s workforce commutes in from Maryland.

“It leads me to conclude that the Governor’s office doesn’t really care about Metro, otherwise they wouldn’t be starving it.”

Copyright 2016 by WMAL.com. All Rights Reserved. (photo: WMATA)

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