Source: Washington Examiner

Soon after Metro has raised its fare by 10 cents, it has announced fresh 6 new public hearings to get citizen input for proposed fare hikes and service cuts.

Metro will hold a series of six public hearings in March and April to get public input on a variety of options for how the transit agency should close a $189 million budget gap in fiscal year 2011. The projected deficit is largely due to increased expenses and losses in revenue from lower than expected ridershipsays Metro’s website.

Possible fare increases being considered for FY2011 include increasing the Metrorail peak period boarding charge from $1.65 to up to $2,  maximum peak period fare from $4.50 to up to $5:45 and increasing the bicycle locker yearly rental fee from $70 to up to $200.

Service reductions being considered for FY2011 include increasing intervals between trains and buses, beginning rail service later in the mornings and eliminating some low-ridership bus routes or portions of routes.

Changes to MetroAccess service being considered for FY2011 include reducing the service area  and charging a premium for service provided to location and restricting the use of the Free Ride Program.