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FOR ALL intents and purposes, Metro is broke. Every few months, it revises upward its projected deficits in operating cash and capital needs, each time to heights dizzyingly beyond the political and fiscal wherewithal of its funding partners, the District, Maryland and Virginia. At each juncture, the partners’ response is a variation on a familiar theme whose essence is: No can do.

This is what a “death spiral” — the now numbingly familiar term first applied to Metro more than a decade ago — looks like. To resemble anything like a fully functional 21st-century transit system, Metro’s needs exceed its forecast revenue by hundreds of millions of dollars over the next three budget years, cumulatively.

Band-Aids may be found in the next couple of years. But the problem balloons violently in the fiscal year starting in fall 2019, when each jurisdiction will be asked to pony up tens of millions of dollars more for Metro than previously advertised (a little more for the District; slightly less for Maryland and Virginia). Those jumps would likely exceed the entire annual increase in sales tax revenue collected by Maryland, or by Virginia, or by the District.

That might be plausible, barely, if none of Metro’s funding partners had other priorities, such as public schools, police, parks and pensions. In the real world, an annual, ongoing funding jump of tens of millions, or anything approaching that, is not plausible for the two states and the District given current funding sources.

Make no mistake: The system is broken. Defying long-standing projections, subway ridership has been plunging for several years, and the prospect of reversing that trend is bleak given the current diet of layoffs, service cuts and fare increases.

Metro simply will not be repaired, reformed and renewed without more money, and federal funds will need to play a major role, as will a dedicated new local revenue source to supplement existing subsidies. Yet none of the major parties involved — not the District and the two states, not the federal goverment, not taxpayers — can be expected to drive massive new funding into a broken system.

The entire Metro system — its founding legal basis (known as a compact), its governance structure and its funding regime — needs to be rethought, reformed and reconstituted, probably under the auspices of federal intervention and control. It is no longer cogent to duck and dodge, as lawmakers have for years, or insist that ill-defined reforms be made before more funding is authorized. That is a recipe for ongoing senescence and for a body blow to the region’s economic vitality.

Stopgaps such as SafeTrack, the current surge of maintenance work, are mandatory but inadequate. In fact, new funding as well as hard reforms — a smaller, more professional governing board; an overhaul of union contracts; and a shake-up in management — are needed urgently and simultaneously.

Read more here: The Post’s View: What Metro needs to get ‘back to good’ The Post’s View: It has come to this: It’s time to consider a federal takeover of Metro The Post’s View: It’s official: Metro is a national embarrassment