A bill was introduced in the House this week that could help alleviate some of the commuting headaches for federal workers in Washington, DC who have seen their commutes impaired by the Metro SafeTrack repairs.
Because the repairs will be ongoing for the foreseeable future, two Congressmen pointed out that federal employees who receive Metro transit benefits cannot apply them to some other forms of transportation, namely ride sharing programs like Uber or Lyft. With the repairs, however, many federal employees have faced longer commutes and could benefit from skipping Metro entirely in favor of the other services.
The bill (H.R. 5647) was introduced by Mark Meadows (R-NC) and is being co-sponsored by Gerry Connolly (D-VA).
“During a time when WMATA is getting its house in order, federal commuters have been frustrated at their lack of options for getting in to work,” Rep. Meadows said. “Many of the frequent, random delays on the metro have caused some federal workers to arrive late, miss meetings, or lose out on valuable work time. This bill will allow federal workers to expand their commuting options and not require them to depend on a sole, unreliable form of transportation—especially during WMATA’s time period of construction.”
Rep. Connolly added, “SafeTrack is a critical component to restoring Metro to a world-class transit system, however, the year-long maintenance schedule presents significant transportation challenges to all commuters in the National Capital region. The federal government must offer commuters as many options as possible to mitigate these challenges.”
The use of ride sharing for traveling federal employees has been gaining popularity among lawmakers in recent years.
Another bill was introduced this week that would allow federal workers to utilize ride and bike sharing for official government business.
And last year, a bill was introduced in the House that would require some federal agencies to sell cars that they own and subsequently encourage federal employees to use ride-sharing companies to get around town. It has yet to advance in the House.