Need to Resolve Metro Funding

PSAD-77-123: Published: Jun 29, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 29, 1977.

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The problem of obtaining funds to complete construction and finance operating deficits of the Washington area metrorail system has not yet been resolved.

The funding of metrorail system construction costs remains a major problem. An interim agreement to raise about $1 billion by matching local contributions with interstate highway transfer funds has been developed. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority can no longer finance the interest costs on over $997 million of revenue bonds from internally generated funds. If no alternative payment method is found, the Department of Transportation, guarantor of the bonds, will have to make the interest payment. The fiscal year 1977 bus operating deficit appears to be understated by about $5.5 million and the original metrorail operating deficit to be understated by $6.7 million. A study is now being conducted to evaluate the feasibility of a system of less than the planned 100 miles. If the rail system is to exceed 60 miles, a more comprehensive financial plan will be required.

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