Metro Schedules Hearing for Next Budget Deficit Plan

By Matthew Stabley
|  Friday, Mar 5, 2010  |  Updated 3:01 AM EDT
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Metro Schedules Hearing for Next Budget Deficit Plan

NBCWashington.com

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Fresh off a "temporary" 10-cent fare hike, Metro has scheduled six public hearings on the next budget deficit.

The transit agency is preparing for a $189 million budget gap for fiscal year 2011.

The public is invited to public hearings in March and April to offer their input.

Possible fare increases being considered for FY2011 include:

  • Increasing the Metrorail peak period boarding charge from $1.65 to up to $2;
  • Increasing the Metrorail maximum peak period fare from $4.50 to up to $5:45;
  • Implementing a surcharge of up to 50 cents for “peak-of-the-peak” trips from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. weekdays;
  • Increasing the Metrorail off-peak boarding charge from $1.35 to up to $1.65;
  • Increasing Metrorail and Metrobus passes so the price is consistent with boarding charges;
  • Increasing the Metrobus boarding charge from $1.25 to up to $1.60 with SmarTrip® and from $1.35 to up to $1.70 with cash;
  • Increasing the MetroAccess fare to up to twice the comparable fixed route fare;
  • Increasing all daily parking rates by up to $1.15; and
  • Increasing the bicycle locker yearly rental fee from $70 to up to $200.

Service reductions being considered for FY2011 include:

  • Making seasonal adjustments to service to meet demand;
  • Increasing intervals between trains and buses;
  • Closing some station mezzanines and rail stations during periods of low ridership (such as weekends or late at night);
  • Beginning rail service later in the mornings;
  • Modifying late-night rail and bus service; and
  • Eliminating some low-ridership bus routes or portions of routes.

Changes to MetroAccess service being considered for FY2011 include:

  • Reduce the MetroAccess service area (within Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines) to reflect actual fixed-route bus and rail service areas reflecting the actual time, day and location;
  • Charging a premium for service provided to locations beyond the ¾-mile corridor around fixed-route services. The premium for zones would be $4 extra for zone 1, $8 extra for zone 2, $12 extra for zone 3 and $16 extra for zone 4;
  • Aligning the MetroAccess fare structure to the maximum allowed under the ADA definition, which is twice the equivalent of fixed-route fare; and
  • Restricting the use of the Free Ride Program to only those MetroAccess certified persons with conditional eligibility.

All of these hearings start at 7 p.m. after a 6:30 p.m. open house:

  • March 22
    Oakton High School Lecture Hall
    2900 Sutton Road
    Vienna, VA
  • March 24
    St. Francis Xavier Church, Bailey Room
    2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC
  • March 29
    Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
    5120 Whitfield Chapel Road
    Lanham, MD
  • March 31
    Arlington County Board Room, 3rd Floor
    2100 Clarendon Boulevard
    Arlington, VA
  • April 1
    All Souls Unitarian Church, Pierce Hall
    1500 Harvard Street, NW
    Washington, DC
  • April 1
    Montgomery County Executive Office Building, Cafeteria
    101 Monroe Street (entrance on Jefferson Street)
    Rockville, MD

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