Metro Asks the Public for Help

The transit system is trying to close a million dollar budget gap

By Arlene Borenstein
|  Monday, Jan 18, 2010  |  Updated 10:13 PM EDT
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Metro Asks the Public for Help

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WASHINGTON - FEBRUARY 13: A sign that reads "Security Alert" is on display as Metro Rail riders depart a subway station February 13, 2003 in Washington, DC. Last week, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge increased the level of alert from yellow to orange because of intelligence that suggested a growing threat from Osama bin Laden's terrorist network. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Metro is asking for the public’s help in deciding how to close a $40 million budget gap, and if you don’t speak up, you could end up paying for it.

According to the WMATA Web site, staff would like to hear what riders think about four proposals that have already been developed.
 
To sum it up, Metro is thinking about several options such as reducing services, taking from their capital budget and increasing fares by 5 cents or 10 cents.
 
If service is reduced then you could be waiting even longer to get on trains and buses. Then, when you get on, there will be far more people on board.
 
The issue with taking money from the capital budget is that, well, whatever is taken out now will lead to a shortfall later. Metro would use 16 million D.C. dollars to spruce up bus and rail systems. However, that money was initially planned to renovate three rail yards.
 
The obvious consequence for fare hikes is that passengers would have to pay more for their rides, however, doing so would mean Metro could opt to take out less money from the capital budget.
 
The public hearing is on Wednesday, Jan. 27. I f you want to speak, though, you have to register before you go. You can also submit written comments by e-mailing public-hearing-testimony@wmata.com.
 
For more information on the proposals or how to get involved in the public hearing, you can go to www.wmata.com.

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