In a bid to close a $290 million budget gap, Metro will increase fare on bus and rail lines and cut service starting in July.
On Thursday morning, the board unanimously approved the changes.
The changes will raise Metro peak rail fare by $0.10, off-peak rail fare by $0.25 and bus fare by $0.25. These increases will raise an estimated $21 million in fiscal 2018, Metro said.
Additionally, the plan would increase time between trains and eliminate the bus routes determined to be inefficient. Those cuts would save an estimated $29 million.
Metro board chairman Jack Evans said he does not think the fare increases and service cuts will drive away riders.
"I think what drives Metro riders away is just one thing, and it's reliability. I don't think safety drives Metro riders away. I think this is a much safer system than people think," he said. "It is a costly system."
General Manager Paul Wiedefeld spoke about protecting Metro.
"What this system means to the region in the future is huge," he said.
Metro will cut service to these bus lines:
S2, S4, S9: Convert S2 and S4 trips to S9 trips
C11, C13: Reduce frequency
B30: Weekday only service, increase headway to 1 hour
J5: Eliminate service
H11, H12, H13: Reduce frequency
J7, J9: Eliminate service in October
T2: Reduce frequency
W19: Eliminate service
P17, P18, P19 Turn back at Southern Avenue
W13, W14: Turn back at Southern Avenue
Z7: Reduce frequency
18P, 18R, 18S: Eliminate 18R, improve 18P
28A, 28X: Eliminate service on Priority Corridor Network (PCN) Transit Signal Priority (TSP) corridor, improve 28A
15K, 15L: Eliminate Rosslyn branch, service EFC
5A: Reduce frequency
7W, 7X: Eliminate 7X service, improve 7W
13Y: Eliminate service
2T: Eliminate service
17A, 17B, 17F, 17M: Eliminate 17A, keep 17M and truncated 17B
REX: Extend route and reduce frequency
2B: Reduce weekday peak frequency
Unsurprisingly, the threat of service cuts are not popular with riders.
"I need the bus" daily 2T bus rider Ruth Garcinizo, who does not have a drivers license, said earlier this month.
Metro has cut hundreds of positions and will use some federal grants to help close the gap.
Earlier this month, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the fare hike and service cuts are necessary.
“I recognize that even with some relief for customers, this proposal is tough medicine for the region, jurisdictions, riders and Metro employees, all of whom must contribute to balance this budget," he said.
Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.