Metro Invites Public to Forums
Within the next six months, we're going to be talking seriously about a Metro fare increase or service cutbacks. The least likely thing, so far, is that the local governments that finance Metro will step in to cover an impending budget shortfall of more than $100 million.
This year, we escaped without a fare increase or major service reductions, but the Metro board did that by cutting the transit authority staff, using some financial fixes available only once and raising revenue projections. At the time, board members predicted Metro -- and its riders -- would be in a tough spot during the next budget round. Which is now.
The Metro board members and managers are going to start talking directly with the public about all this, starting Monday. So far, two forums have been announced.
These aren't the budget hearings. Those come in the spring. We won't have a budget proposal to pick apart for several months.
Metro has scheduled a forum for District residents at 6:30 p.m. in the U.S. Navy Memorial auditorium, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. (That's by the Archives Metrorail station.)
Metro Board Chairman Jim Graham, General Manager John B. Catoe Jr., and D.C. officials will discuss Metro's budget for the fiscal year that starts in July 2010.
The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission and Metro will host a forum at 6:20 p.m. Wednesday at George Mason High School, 7124 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church. NVTC Chairman and Metro Board Member Chris Zimmerman of Arlington and Board Member Catherine Hudgins of Fairfax will be joined by other Northern Virginia leaders.
As with the D.C. session, Catoe will outline Metro's money needs and some possible solutions. Then there will be a discussion.
October 15, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Metro budget, Metrobus, Metrorail
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