Washington D.C. Metro Closure Highlights Ongoing Infrastructure Needs

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) shut down the entire Metrorail system in the D.C. region on Wednesday, March 16, to conduct emergency inspections and repairs of the system’s 600 electric cables.

Once a source of pride for the city and its nearby suburbs, Metro is now prone to regular delays and station shutdowns.

Said Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing:

“Today, approximately 700,000 metro riders in the Washington D.C. area are realizing the importance of our capital’s infrastructure as they look for alternative travel methods.

“America's transportation infrastructure is falling apart. Our roads, bridges, railways, waterways, pipelines, and energy grids need serious maintenance in order to maintain a well-functioning economy and U.S. competitiveness in the world.

“Regular infrastructure upkeep not only lowers costs, it also provides safe transportation and potentially millions of jobs. We encourage policy makers to continue funding our country’s vital framework by making infrastructure a priority.”


  • The American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s entire public transit system a “D+” grade in 2013 (source). D.C.’s overall infrastructure fared better with a “C-” despite the transit receiving a “D” grade in 2016 (source).
  • While Congress passed a $300 billion transportation funding bill for infrastructure projects in 2015, there’s still $900 billion worth of infrastructure backlog (source).
  • Every dollar invested in transportation infrastructure returns $3.54 in economic impact (source).
  • Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) reports an estimated $16 billion funding gap for public transit over the next 10 years in the D.C. area (source).
  • The average cost of maintaining assets versus replacing them is often substantially lower. For example, for roads more than 25 years old, the cost of replacement is more than three times the cost of routine maintenance (source).
  • On average, the U.S. invests $848 per person annually on transportation investments compared to the European Union’s $2,589 per person (source).
  • Summary: D.C.’s Metro Shutdown Yet Another Reminder That We Need to Seriously Invest in Infrastructure.