Don't over focus on "fixing" the WMATA Compact. Instead create a new Regional Transit Compact, of which WMATA is one component
In responding to a series of posts at GGW by Dan Tangherlini, former director of both DC's Department of Transportation and WMATA, I wrote ("The answer is: Create a single multi-state/regional multi-modal transit planning, management, and operations authority association") that the region's stakeholders seem to be overly focused on fixing WMATA--which yes, needs to be fixed--thinking that means that they are dealing with the region's full set of transit needs, not recognizing that the two issues:
- Fixing WMATA
- Ensuring that the Washington Metropolitan Area and the Baltimore-Washington Region have a robust, effective, efficient "21st century" transit system
My recommendation is the creation of the equivalent of a German-style "transport association" functioning at the regional scale, which would separate out planning from operations, and integrate transit services and fares in a way that focuses all the agencies on customer satisfaction.
Sure, fix the WMATA Compact, as part of the creation of a new and bigger Transport Association "Compact" operating at the regional scale.
Sure, a regularized funding system is necessary for transit. But this funding system shouldn't be limited to WMATA. Furthermore, setting up a new "transit funding" mechanism but limiting the funding stream to WMATA could significantly encumber transit and transportation planning and development for the various jurisdictions.
Instead, they are focused on maintaining what exists, more like plugging or patching a hole rather than rebuilding the wall.
DC-Maryland-Virginia can "fix WMATA" by amalgamating it within a new bigger, regionally-scaled transport compact (what they call a "transport association" in Germany).
In the previous entry, I called this the DMVTA--DC, Maryland, Virginia Transport Association.
Integrated rail transit map for the Washington DC Metropolitan area. Designed and Produced by Paul J. Meissner.
-- "A Mobility Wunderkind: Transportation lessons from Germany," Planning Magazine, December 2013
-- "Current Practice in Funding of Urban Transport: The Case of Germany," Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
And there is this paper, which I think is just okay, "Regional Coordination in Public Transportation: Lessons from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland," from the Mid-Atlantic Urban Transportation Center.