Metro plan curbs service cuts
It's Richard Sarles's budget proposal now. The new interim general manager presented his budget proposal to the Metro board Thursday morning.
He outlined a budget plan that emphasizes fare increases over service cuts, but there would be some service cuts. The late night weekend hours would be cut back by an hour (affecting about 2,400 riders), some train runs would be eliminated on each line, and some station entrances would be closed at off-hours.
Sarles said that the fare increases and cuts reflect what the staff and the board heard during the recent public comment period.
The service cuts proposed now are some of the least dramatic among the long list of possibilities included in the menu presented to the public for review. The cuts amount to $8 million, versus the $35 million in cuts proposed in January when then-General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. presented his budget.
Part of the reduction in the new plan would be achieved by tapping money from Metro's capital budget, the one used for long-term maintenance and equipment purchases.
One change on the revenue side would be a 50 cent increase in the daily charge for parking at Metro stations. Adjustments in the rail fare -- besides an overall fare increase -- would add a late-night surcharge and permit a surcharge at a few stations to support improvement projects at those stations.
Metro financial manager Carol Kissal said that the basic fare for MetroAccess paratransit service would remain the same under this new plan. She noted that riders with disabilities said the proposed fare increase would be onerous. But there would be some fare increases based on the distance the MetroAccess rider's trip is from Metro's fixed route system.
There would be some cuts in Metrobus service, which Kissal said target the least-used routes. Bus riders also would have to pay a fare increase.
Here is the current proposal (large PDF).
Here is this morning's story from the Washington Examiner on the proposal.
April 22, 2010; 9:55 AM ET
Categories: Metro | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, MetroAccess, Metrobus, Metrorail
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