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Statement About Signing the National Capital Transportation Act of 1972

July 14, 1972

IT IS with special pleasure that I have signed H.R. 15507, the National Capital Transportation Act of 1972. I join with my fellow residents of the Washington metropolitan area, and with millions of other Americans across this country who want the best in urban services for their Nation's Capital, in thanking the bipartisan Congressional majority which worked for passage of this important legislation.

METRO--the area wide rapid rail transit system which figures so centrally in our vision of a new Washington for the Bicentennial and beyond--moves a long step toward successful completion with this new law. Responding to a proposal I put forward in April 1971, the act provides a Federal guarantee for METRO revenue bonds, greatly enhancing the hitherto dubious marketability of these securities. It authorizes an increase of nearly 25 percent in the District of Columbia's contribution to METRO funding. It approves needed amendments broadening the interstate compact under which the system is to operate. It orders a special study looking to possible additional Federal funding to insure adequate METRO service for the elderly and the handicapped.

Late last year, when it appeared that METRO might die altogether because of a complex legislative and judicial tangle, I appealed to the Congress for responsible action to cut the Gordian knot. The metropolitan Washington community was enormously heartened when such action was forthcoming. At that time I also asked that there be no further derailments of METRO progress--and enactment of this bond guarantee proposal now offers encouraging evidence that the Congress means to follow through and prevent such delays.

The role of municipal legislature for Washington, D.C., which the House and Senate must often of necessity play, is not an easy one--either for the city or for the Congress. But as METRO construction now moves forward at a quickening pace with solid Congressional support, there is reason to hope that the lessons learned en route to completion of the world's most modern subway for our National Capital area may also mark the beginning of a new and more effective Federal-local partnership in District of Columbia government. This Administration is committed, and I am committed personally, to furthering that result by every means available to us.

Note: The statement was released at San Clemente, Calif.

As enacted, H.R. 15507, approved July 13, 1972, is Public Law 92-349 (86 Stat. 464).

Richard Nixon, Statement About Signing the National Capital Transportation Act of 1972 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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