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Now: Metro Board to Consider Cuts vs. Fare Increase

The full Metro Board of Directors today will consider two proposals to send to the public for review at hearings. One offers people the alternative of bus service cuts or a 5 cent fare increase. The other would allow people to review only the bus cuts, as described in the previous entry.

This menu of choices is the result of a vote just now in the board's finance committee. The idea arose because some members said they had heard from riders who said they would be willing to consider a fare increase rather than endure the service cuts. The strongest opposition to the fare increase idea is coming from the District of Columbia.

Even if the full board decides to ask the public to consider the fare increase versus service cut idea, it still will be up to the board to decide the matter before July 1. A 5 cent fare increase probably would raise $15 million to $17 million.

Another option the board considered, but so far has rejected, is the idea of taking some money from its capital budget, the money for maintenance and purchase of new rail cars and buses, among other things -- and using that to close the budget gap without service cuts.

That's a bad idea: It would simply push the transit system's financial problems into next year. Also, as board member Chris Zimmerman just pointed out, does anyone thing Metro is spending enough on maintenance now?

By Robert Thomson  |  March 26, 2009; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  Metro  
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Next: Metro Plans to Spend Stim on Bus and Rail Improvements


Call me crazy, but didn't Metro just raise prices about 2 months ago? Already they need to raise prices again?

What the heck kind of clowns do we have running Metro, anyways?

Posted by: afsljafweljkjlfe | March 26, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

If anything, bus fares need to be raised considerably, to at least $1.75 per trip. Weekly passes should cost $17/week. $1.25 is too low, considering how much bus fares cost in other parts of the country. I ride the buses in Montgomery County and the District daily, and my concerns lie with the availability of bus service. Ride-On is cutting routes next month and is looking to cut more this summer. Metrobus is cutting routes and service. If fares were raised to a more competitive level, (no more than $20/month for most people) chances are the cuts in service would not be nearly as necessary.

Posted by: ms7136a | March 26, 2009 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I take the D5 Route - proposed to be cut - twice a day. It is by far, superior to taking a ride on bus to metro..and more cost efficient. It gets me to Farragut Square in one single journey without the need to transfer from bus to train and reverse. It may have a limited ridership, but Im sure if Metro decided to raise the fare by even .25 cents per ride the public wouldn't mind. If Metro is set on eliminating the route altogether, why not extend the route for the D6 to Massachusetts Ave and Sagamore Road, thereby combining the routes of the D5 and the D6 and still providing an important service to the public.

Posted by: mkorwin | April 1, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

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