Metro has plenty of ideas on how to close its $189 million budget shortfall, but it seems that several of those proposals have been hitting a wall with rail and bus riders.
Like the transit agency's plan to "eliminate the Yellow Line extension to Fort Totten." Or its proposals to increase fares, which will allegedly hit Metrobus riders more than Metrorail commuters.
Obviously, not having the Yellow line service would be very annoying as trips would take longer for both residents and folks coming to shop, eat and drink. That could end up making people think twice about coming to spend money in the neighborhood, which would be too bad, especially with so many new retail establishments, bars and restaurants.
That cut isn't the only one in the works for the Yellow Line. Metro also wants to:
- stop the Yellow Line at 9:30 p.m. during the week and all day on weekends;
- close the 10th & U entrance at U Street/AACWM/Cardozo stop on weekends; and,
- shut down the 8th & R Street entrance at Shaw/Howard University on weekends
That's led the MidCity Business Association to start a petition about it. And D.C. Council member Jim Graham told the blog he's "doing everything he can to stop" the Yellow Line cuts -- which would make sense as he helped spearhead the effort to extend the line to Fort Totten in the first place.
Bus riders, meanwhile, are facing a 20 percent hike in fares versus a 15 percent fare increase for rail riders. According to data from Metro, those who ride the rails make an average of $102,000 per year and one in 50 has no car in the household, while those who take the bus earn a median annual income of $69,000 and one in five has no household car.
There are other ways to do something about these cuts, like filling out Metro's Budget Survey or going to one of the agency's public hearings:
Wednesday, March 31
Hearing No. 551
Arlington County Board Room, 3rd Floor
2100 Clarendon Boulevard
Thursday, April 1
Hearing No. 553
Montgomery County Executive Office Building, Cafeteria
101 Monroe Street (entrance on Jefferson Street)
For your two minutes of speaking time, write to the Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001, fax requests to 202-962-1133 or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Only one speaker per letter and reference the hearing number. Lists of individual speakers will not be accepted.