So Popular, It's Running in the Red


Billed as "America's Metro" when the federal government cut the red tape (of one sort, anyway) almost 30 years ago, D.C. Metro isn't the American sweetheart it used to be.

Somehow, while other public transportation systems are pining for an increase in riders to lift revenue, fares from the crowds piling into D.C. Metro's packed cars are breaking its budget.

Though the ten local governments that control D.C. Metro's funds are resisting the idea of rewarding a flurry of fiscal and safety mismanagement scandals with the promise of dedicated funding, Big Brother may be swooping in to help. Born as a federal pet project, a Congressional hearing yesterday considered providing $1.5 billion to D.C. Metro contingent upon "dedicated funding, two additional seats on the 12-member board of directors and the creation of an inspector general."