Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA /wəˈmɑːtə/ wə-MAH-tə),[2] commonly referred to as Metro, is a tri-jurisdictional government agency that operates transit service in the Washington metropolitan area. WMATA was created by the United States Congress as an interstate compact between Washington, D.C., the State of Maryland, and the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

The Jackson Graham Building serves as Metro headquarters.
Agency overview
FormedFebruary 20, 1967; 55 years ago (1967-02-20)
Preceding agency
Typeinterstate compact agency
JurisdictionWashington D.C. and parts of Maryland and northern Virginia
HeadquartersWashington, D.C., U.S.
Agency executive
  • Randy Clarke [1]
Key document
Websitewmata.com

WMATA provides rapid transit service under the Metrorail name, fixed-route bus service under the Metrobus brand, and paratransit service under the MetroAccess brand. In 2021, the system had a ridership of 117,605,900, or about 450,500 per weekday as of the fourth quarter of 2021.

The authority is also part of a public–private partnership that operates the DC Circulator bus system. WMATA has its own police force, the Metro Transit Police Department.

The authority's board of directors consists of two voting representatives each from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and the U.S. federal government. Each jurisdiction also appoints two alternate representatives. WMATA has no independent taxation authority and depends on its member jurisdictions for capital investments and operating subsidies.

In addition to ongoing operations, WMATA participates in regional transportation planning. Recent projects include an extension of Metrorail to Dulles Airport, streetcar lines in the District and Northern Virginia, and light rail in suburban Maryland.


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