Provided by Congresswoman Barbara Comstock’s Office
On Tuesday, Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) joined Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) in introducing a bill that will temporarily add transportation options for federal workers.
With the D.C. Metro (WMATA) system under SafeTrack construction for the foreseeable future, many federal workers have seen their commute times increase due to lengthy delays and unpredictable arrivals. However, commuters have limited alternative options, as the existing federal transportation benefit system excludes ride-sharing. Rep. Meadows’ bill that Congresswoman is an original cosponsor on would allow federal employees who receive metro benefits to be able to apply those same benefits to ride sharing services such as Uber, Lyft, and others.
The bill was originally introduced in July and is now being re-introduced with an extended deadline to reflect the announcement that SafeTrack construction will occur longer than originally planned. The new benefit transfer will now be applicable through the end of 2018.
“During a time when WMATA is getting its house in order, federal commuters have been frustrated at their lack of timely options for getting in to work,” Rep. Meadows said. “My hope is that this bill will allow federal workers to expand their commuting options and not require them to depend on a sole, unreliable form of transportation during WMATA’s time period of construction.”
Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA) is also an original cosponsor.
“As a representative of thousands of federal employees, I have witnessed firsthand how difficult it has become for our federal employees to commute during SafeTrack. I supported restoration of parity in commuter tax benefits in the end-of-year budget package, but that was before Metro’s SafeTrack efforts began. As long as SafeTrack is in effect, federal employees must be offered alternative methods of transportation, including ridesharing platforms. This bill will provide them with much-needed flexibility while Metro tries to get itself to safe and working order.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) is an original cosponsor of the bill.
“SafeTrack is a critical component to restoring Metro to a world-class transit system, however, the lengthy maintenance schedule presents significant transportation challenges to all commuters in the National Capital region,” Rep. Connolly said. “The federal government must offer commuters as many options as possible to mitigate these challenges. The ridesharing economy offers a unique and flexible alternative until full Metro service is restored and should be an option for our federal workforce as they maintain a continuity of operations for the federal government.”