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Metro Riders Face Painful Options – Public Hearing Tomorrow

If you’re a Metro rider (I’m one), you may want to take a look at this.

The Metro Authority, WMATA is considering options to close the $40M budget gap. “There’s no dessert. These are all choices with negative consequences for riders” – says The Washington Post Metro columnist Robert Thomson.

Here are four options Metro is considering:

Option 1: Reduce Metrorail and Metrobus service to save $4 million, and take $12 million from the capital budget to pay for parts that are needed to keep the bus and rail system in good working order.

Consequences: Riders would experience more crowded trains and buses, longer waits between trains and buses; customers may be required to travel an extra block or two to an open station entrance evenings and weekends.

Option 2: Use $16 million from the capital budget to pay for parts that are needed to keep the bus and rail system in good working order.

Consequences: Using capital budget money to plug the current operating budget shortfall would create a $16 million shortfall in next year’s capital budget and delay a rail yard rehabilitation project by one year.

Option 3: Increase fares by 5 cents and passes by the equivalent of 5 cents to generate $4.8 million and use $11.2 million from the capital budget to pay for parts that are needed to keep the bus and rail system in good working order.

Consequences: Riders would pay more for their trips. Using money from the capital budget to plug the current operating budget shortfall would create an $11.2 million shortfall in the next capital budget and delay a rail yard rehabilitation project by one year.

Option 4: Increase fares by 10 cents and passes by the equivalent of 10 percent to generate $9.6 million and use $6.4 million from the capital budget to pay for parts that are needed to keep the bus and rail system in good working order.

Consequences: Riders would pay more for their rides. Using capital budget money to plug the current operating budget shortfall would create a $6.4 million shortfall in the next capital budget and delay a rail yard rehabilitation project by one year.

There is a public hearning on these options at the Metro headquarters (600 Fifth Street, NW in the District) at 5:30 pm. More on the hearing:

http://www.wmata.com/community_outreach/B10_landing/B10-01_Notice.pdf

Please check the map below if you plan to attend.

[mappress]

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