Last week, the federal government indicated it was reconsidering a $900 million grant to fund a massive expansion of the Washington Metro. Today, the Washington Post reports that a funding solution may be in sight: private investors may help the rail extension project meet its funding needs.
As reported previously on The Foundry, the publicly-run Metro subway and bus system already faces a number of problems. On-time service has declined and costs are soaring out of control, prompting the largest fare hike in its history this month and raising questions about the prudence of stretching the rail network still further.
Transit backers are crying foul over the private funding concept, complaining that “such public infrastructure is far too valuable to hand over to for-profit corporations.” But given Metro’s performance to date, perhaps it can be said that such public infrastructure is far too valuable to hand over to government.