Revitalizing WMATA: Getting to a Culture of Excellence

Meeting Notes: 
This meeting will convene in 2154 RHOB and Zoom.
Date: 
Wednesday, February 9, 2022 - 9:00am
Location: 
2154 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
Revitalizing WMATA: Getting to a Culture of Excellence

Chairman Gerry Connolly's Opening Statement [PDF]

Washington D.C. (February 7, 2022)— On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. ET, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will hold a hearing to examine the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) responsibility to provide safe and reliable transit service to the National Capital Region. 

 

As the third-largest heavy rail transit system and sixth-largest bus network in the country, WMATA is an essential component of transit for the functioning of the federal government.  In 2019, prior to the pandemic, WMATA’s total ridership reached nearly 300 million trips per year with an average weekday Metrorail ridership of 626,000.

 

While the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of WMATA to the region’s essential workers, it has also shed light on serious funding, operational, and safety concerns plaguing the region’s transportation system.  On October 17, 2021, the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission directed WMATA to remove all 7000-series rail cars from service following a derailment that exposed serious safety defects.  As of today, the 7000-series rail cars will not be in service until WMATA puts in place additional protections and internal oversight ensure the safety of its passengers.

 

Wednesday’s Subcommittee hearing will evaluate these concerns and examine solutions to ensure WMATA can provide essential transportation services to the region.  

 

MEDIA:

 

Per the Office of the Attending Physician’s (OAP) guidelines, and in consultation with the Architect of the Capitol, the Chief Administrative Officer, the Sergeant at Arms, and the Committee on House Administration, the hearing room has been reconfigured to provide for social distancing.  In light of current guidance from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OAP, all members of the press must wear must properly fitted, medical-grade, filtration face masks (KN95 or N95 masks) masks at all times, regardless of vaccination status.

 

The Committee strongly recommends that members of the media view the hearing proceedings remotely.  Seating in the hearing room is extremely limited and as a result, credentialed media must RSVP to the Oversight Committee Democrats Press Office at  oversightpress@mail.house.gov no later than 5 p.m. ET on February 8, 2022. 

WITNESSES

Mr. Geoffrey Cherrington
Inspector General, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

 

Mr. David Ditch
Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation

 

Dr. David L. Mayer
Chief Executive Officer, Washington Metrorail Safety Commission

 

Mr. Paul C. Smedberg
Board Chair, Board of Directors, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

 

Mr. Paul J. Wiedefeld
General Manager, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

117th Congress