Chairman Connolly, Congresswoman Norton to Hold Hearing on WMATA’s Operations and Oversight

Feb 7, 2022
Press Release

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.  




Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing entitled, “Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Service, Safety, and Future.”



Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at 9:00 a.m. ET



Mr. Paul J. Wiedefeld

General Manager

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority


Mr. Geoffrey Cherrington

Inspector General

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority


Mr. Paul C. Smedberg

Board Chair, Board of Directors

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority


Mr. David L. Mayer

Chief Executive Officer

Washington Metrorail Safety Commission


A livestream will be available on YouTube and the Committee on Oversight and Reform website.




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 no later than 5 p.m. ET on February 8, 2022. 


117th Congress