Metro’s Charging More, But Not Making More

New report shows that budget deficit is growing

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    WASHINGTON - APRIL 28: Passengers board a Metro train at the Gallery Place - Chinatown Metro Station April 28, 2006 in Washington, DC. With gas prices soaring past $3.00 a gallon, there has been an increase in public transportation use across the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

    You may not be happy about having to pay an extra dime to ride the Metro.  And to make matters worse, Metro’s not that happy about it either.

    The recent surcharge, intended to help out the emergency budget shortfall, apparently isn’t working, according to the Washington Examiner.

    Metro originally predicted a $40 million shortfall for the year.  But the latest financial report shows that the transit agency is $54.2 million below budget.

    Metro began charging an extra 10 cents per trip on February 28.  According to the Examiner, the hope was that the surcharge would bring in $9.6 million through June to help make up for declining ridership.

    But Metro didn't account for “Snowmaggedon.”  Metro had to stop its above ground service for several days in February. It also shut down other stations early.  On top of that, the Examiner reports that in March, fares brought in $1.4 million less than expected.

    And despite Metro recording seven of its top 25 ridership days ever in April, it now appears that the transit system needs to come up with a plan to make money -- fast. On the horizon is an even bigger issue.  The Examiner reports that Metro is predicting a $189 million hole for it's next budget.