WMATA Reference Page

WMATA Reference Page

May 08, 2016  | ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION

National Capital Area Transportation Authorization Statutes

  • National Capital Planning Act of 1952 (Public Law 592, 82nd Congress) – created a National Capital Planning Commission to be “the central planning agency for the Federal and District Governments to plan the appropriate and orderly development and redevelopment of the National Capital and the conservation of the important natural and historical features thereof” and ordered the Commission to “prepare a major thoroughfare plan and a mass transportation plan.”
  • National Capital Transportation Act of 1960 (Public Law 86-669) – created a National Capital Transportation Agency, to prepare a Transit Development Program. Gave the consent of Congress for the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia to “negotiate a compact for the establishment of an organization to serve as a means of consultation and cooperation among the Federal, State, and local governments in the National Capital region, to formulate plans and policies for the development of the region, and to perform governmental functions of a regional character, including but not limited to the provision of regional transportation facilities.”
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact Act of 1960 (Public Law 86-794) – gave the consent of Congress to the DC-Maryland-Virginia interstate compact establishing the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission.
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact Amendment of 1962 (Public Law 87-767) – added Dulles Airport to the National Capital Region and specifically exempted water transportation, school bus transportation, and ICC-regulated transportation from the WMATC’s regulatory purview.
  • National Capital Transportation Act of 1965 (Public Law 89-173) – authorized the NCTA to plan, design and construct a rail system described in the “report entitled “Rail Rapid Transit for the Nation’s Capital, January 1965” up to a total cost of $431 million with a federal share of $100 million.
  • WMATA Interstate Compact Act of 1966 (Public Law 89-774) – gave the consent of Congress to amendments to the 1960 WMATC interstate compact to transform it into a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and transferred the functions and duties of the NCTA to WMATA effective September 30, 1967.
  • National Capital Transportation Act Amendment of 1967 (Public Law 90-220) – required the system to be in accordance with the “Revised Transit Development Program for the Nation’s Capital, 1967”.
  • National Capital Transportation Act of 1969 (Public Law 91-143) – authorized total federal appropriations of $1.147 billion (inclusive of the $100 million authorized in 1965) to provide two-thirds of the estimated construction cost of the rail transit system described in the WMATA report “Adopted Regional Rapid Rail Transit Plan and Program, March 1,1968 (revised February 7, 1969)”.
  • National Capital Transportation Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-349) – authorized the U.S. Treasury to guarantee up to $1.2 billion of WMATA’s debt and to pay up to one-fourth of the interest costs of such guaranteed debt.
  • National Capital Area Transit Act of 1972 (Public Law 92-517) – authorized WMATA to take over existing DC-area bus service from private bus companies.
  • National Capital Transportation Amendments of 1979 (Public Law 96-184, enacted January 3, 1980) – the “Stark-Harris Act” – authorized the appropriation of an additional $1.7 billion starting in FY 1982 for the federal share of additional construction of the Adopted Regional System.
  • WMATA Compact Amendments of 1990 (Public Law 101-505) – gave the consent of Congress to amendments rewriting the WMATA Interstate Compact.
  • National Capital Transportation Amendments of 1990 (Public Law 101-551) – authorized an additional $1.3 billion in federal appropriations over fiscal years 1992-1999 for completion of the 103-mile system’s construction.
  • National Capital Transportation Amendments of 2008 (Title VI of Division B of Public Law 110-432) – authorized the appropriation of $1.5 billion over FY 2009-2018 for the federal 50 percent share of WMATA capital and preventive maintenance projects, contingent upon the WMATA Interstate Compact being amended to create a WMATA Inspector General and add federal representatives to the WMATA Board of Directors.
  • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Regulation Compact Amendments of 2009 (Public Law 111-62) – gave the consent of Congress for the compact revisions called for in the 2008 law.

National Capital Area Transportation Plans

1959 Mass Transportation Survey – Civil Engineering Report

1959 Mass Transportation Survey – General Development Plan for the National Capital Region.

1962 Recommendations for Transportation in the National Capital Region.

1965 Rapid Rail Transit for the Nation’s Capital.

1968 Rapid Rail Transit for the National Capital Region (Feb. 7, 1969 Revision) (High-resolution map of the Feb. 7 1969 revised plan.)


Federal Audits and Reports

GAO (1974) – Transit Authority’s System of Reporting on the Status of METRO’s Costs and Construction Progress Needs To Be Improved.

OTA (1976) – Assessment of Community Planning for Mass Transit: Volume 10—Washington, D.C. Case Study.

GAO (1977) – Need to Resolve Metro Funding.

GAO (1978) – Federal Share of WMATA’s Bond Interest Costs Is Too Large.

GAO (1979) – Issues Being Faced by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

GAO (1983) – Applying DOT Rail Policy to Washington, D.C.’s Metrorail System Could Save Federal Funds.

USDOT OIG (1998) – Audit Report: Completion of the Metrorail System Washington, DC.

GAO (2001) – Many Management Successes at WMATA, but Capital Planning Could Be Enhanced.

GAO (2005) – Information on the Federal Role in Funding the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

GAO (2006) – Mass Transit: Issues Related to Providing Dedicated Funding for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

GAO (2015) – WMATA: Steps Taken to Address Financial Management and Safety Recommendations, but Financial Management Internal Controls Need Strengthening.

USDOT OIG (2016) – Improvements in FTA’s Safety Oversight Policies and Procedures Could Strengthen Program Implementation and Address Persistent Challenges.

GAO (2017) – WMATA: Improved Planning of Future Rehabilitation Projects Could Prevent Limitations Identified with SafeTrack.


Selected Congressional Hearings

1958 Joint Committee on Washington Metropolitan Problems hearings on transportation problems in the Washington metro area.

1960 Joint Committee on Washington Metropolitan Problems hearings on the bill to create a National Capital Transportation Agency.

1966 House Judiciary hearings on the WMATA interstate compact enabling legislation.

1967 Senate District of Columbia hearings on the 1967 legislation authorizing a system at the 1967 revised report scope.

1969 Joint House and Senate D.C. Committee hearings on proposed legislation for the first round of Washington Metro construction funding authorizations.

1976 House District of Columbia hearings on Metro oversight.

1979 Senate Governmental Affairs hearings on proposed legislation for the second round of Washington Metro construction funding authorizations.

1989 House District of Columbia hearings and markup of proposed legislation for the third round of Washington Metro construction funding authorizations.

1990 Senate Governmental Affairs hearings on proposed legislation for the third round of Washington Metro construction funding authorizations.

2005 House Government Reform hearings on the Davis bill to authorize $1.5 billion over 10 years for Washington Metro capital upgrades.

2009 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on the Red Line accident and funding issues.

2010 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on WMATA safety, service and stability.

2010 Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on funding.

2011 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on WMATA transit security.

2012 House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on DOT IG recommendations for WMATA.

2015 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on WMATA safety.

2015 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on WMATA oversight.

2016 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on WMATA safety and service.

2016 House Transportation and Infrastructure hearing on WMATA safety and reliability.

2016 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on WMATA safety and maintenance.

2017 House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on WMATA after SafeTrack.


Other Federal Documents

1959 Eisenhower meeting on Washington DC mass transit plans.

1975 Ford White House documents on future WMATA funding options.

1978 Carter White House documents about WMATA system length.

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