Based on declines in ridership from July and August, Metro could act swiftly to offset an estimated $22.4 million shortfall for the fiscal year, which means, you guessed it, further cuts in service.
Fare hikes are out of the question because they are already scheduled for next year, and the process for implementing them sooner would take too long to aid the current situation. Other measures, such as lengthening the time between trains during non-peak hours will be discussed at the Metro finance committee's Nov. 5 meeting.
According to The Washington Post, Metro's chief financial officer Carol Kissal attributed the dip in ridership to higher unemployment rates (fewer people commuting to work), lower gas prices (it being cheaper to drive) and concern over the fatal June 22 Red Line crash (people not wanting to die).
So ridership is down, partly because of quality of service (trains telescoping over one another), therefore Metro seeks to make its quality diminish slightly more (trains arriving less frequently). Sounds like a winner.