New Year May Bring Longer Waits for Metro Riders

Metro proposes a list of service cuts for 2010

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    WASHINGTON - APRIL 28: A Metro train departs from 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)

    2010 could bring longer waits and larger crowds to your local Metro station. On Thursday the proposed list of cuts will be presented at a special Metro board meeting.

    The transit agency is trying to come up with ways to make up for a $40 million budget shortfall.  That's due in part to a drop in ridership over the past year.  According to Metro, early morning ridership is down.  It blames that on the high unemployment rate.  Ridership also dropped after last year's deadly crash on the Red Line.
    The cuts include increasing the wait time in between Metrorail trains.  In the early morning hours, the wait time would increase from 6 to 8 minutes.  In the midday and early evening hours, the wait time would increase from 12 to 15 minutes.  In the late evening hours, riders would have to add an additional 5 to 10 minutes to their trip.
    Similar cuts would apply to Metrobus service.  Thirty-one bus lines would be changed, reduced or eliminated.  Metro said it also hopes to avoid layoffs by not filling vacancies.