Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA /wəˈmɑːtə/ wə-MAH-tə),[3] 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 the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Quick facts: Agency overview, Formed, Preceding agency, Ty...
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Old Metro headquarters at the Jackson Graham Building, now replaced by a new location at L'Enfant Plaza[1]
Agency overview
FormedFebruary 20, 1967; 56 years ago (1967-02-20)
Preceding agency
Typeinterstate compact agency
JurisdictionWashington, D.C., and parts of Maryland and northern Virginia
Headquarters300 7th Street SW, Washington, D.C., U.S.
Agency executive
  • Randy Clarke [2]
Key document

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 2022, the system had a ridership of 183,172,500, or about 647,600 per weekday as of the fourth quarter of 2022.

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 International Airport, and streetcar lines in the District and Northern Virginia.