DC’s Subway system has a long history of financial and safety mismanagement. But after today’s derailment, they’re going to try to take it out of the American taxpayer. Here’s how.

Today’s Red Line derailment injured nobody, mostly because the train was nearly empty on this federal holiday. But the usual urban left wing activists are going to try to use this as proof that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) needs “dedicated funding.” That means greater subsidies from you, the American taxpayers.

WMATA is unlike most transportation operators in that it is the result of an interstate compact involving DC, Virginia, Maryland, and the US Government. All four governments have seats on the board, and all four pay into the system. So, if the compact is altered, then the federal government will be paying more money into this failing system.

Is it really that bad? Yes. WMATA is run as a jobs program, not a functioning transportation system. While other US Cities are expanding their rail programs, WMATA has cut hours and service drastically. Further, major scandals of waste, fraud, and abuse have been exposed:

  • WMATA employees were spying on the keyboard of the Inspector General.
  • Passenger Carol Glover died in an incident in 2015 caused by WMATA safety inspectors falsifying records. When one inspector was fired for that, the union (ATU Local 689) sued.
  • WMATA hired a contractor to put communications wiring in the tunnels for public safety. The contractor folded, the wiring wasn’t installed, and nobody knows where the money went.
  • One of Obama’s board members was taking kickbacks from a contractor. The conflict of interest, involving a large part time salary, was exposed, but nothing was done about it.
  • WMATA was mismanaging federal funds.

Until serious reforms of safety and accountability are enacted, WMATA should get no more money from the federal government.