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Are Metro's dedicated school lines in peril?

Here's an item from my colleagues Michael Birnbaum and Jenna Johnson:

Buried within a long list of possible WMATA service cuts is the elimination of dedicated Metrobus service to 10 D.C. public schools. But a metro board member's office said Friday it was unlikely that those routes would actually be eliminated.

D.C. public schools do not have yellow school buses that take students to regular school programs, but WMATA serves some schools with special bus lines that are for students only. On the list of possible route cuts are the buses that serve Watkins Elementary and Peabody Elementary; Deal Middle and Sousa Middle; Anacostia High, Eastern High, McKinley High, Spingarn High and Wilson High; and Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

Brian DeBose, a spokesman for Metro board member and D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), said Graham opposed the school Metrobus cuts and that they were unlikely to be instituted.

"If the council member has anything to do with it, it won't happen," DeBose said.

Even if the cuts were to be instituted, WMATA planners have proposals for other bus and rail routes that students could use to get to school, said Steven Taubenkibel, a WMATA spokesman.

The board held six hearings on the proposed cuts from late March to April 1, and it has set a goal to decide which cuts to actually institute at an April 29 meeting.

A large majority of people who spoke at the hearings and responded to an online survey favored increased fares over service cuts, according to a summary released Thursday by WMATA.

By Washington Post editors  |  April 9, 2010; 6:15 PM ET
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