Metro Funding and Accountability
During my term, historic funding levels for the Metro system in Northern Virginia were approved in Virginia. Together with companion actions at the federal level and in Maryland and the District of Columbia, Metro will have a dedicated funding source of $500 million per year to stabilize its finances, improve maintenance, grow the system’s footprint, modernize its railcars, and issue bonds to spread out payments for capital improvements. As an economic asset that drives the region’s economy, this commitment to Metro supports business development, expansion, and recruitment.
In addition to providing critical revenue for capital investments, getting Metro back on track will mean implementing commonsense governance and oversight reforms. As part of the funding package, Metro must streamline its board of directors, provide annual reports on performance and safety, and adopt a six-year capital improvement program. The package also caps growth in Metro’s operating budget at three percent a year in Virginia.
Port of Virginia
The additional funds Port expansion will help keep Norfolk competitive by increasing its capacity by 40%, allowing for an additional 1 million containers.
Hampton Roads Improvements
The state’s two year budget also added $350 million to advance planning and engineering requirements and to fund capital projects to widen and dredge the Norfolk Harbor Channel and Elizabeth River.
An additional $7.9 million was included to improve and expand access to broadband throughout Rural Virginia, connecting more than 31,000 unserved homes and businesses.