Metro Says It's Losing $400K Per Weekday During Shutdown; MARC Ticket Sales Fall - NBC4 Washington

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Metro Says It's Losing $400K Per Weekday During Shutdown; MARC Ticket Sales Fall

Metro might consider staffing and service reductions if the shutdown continues



    Shutdown Costly for Transit Agencies in DC Area

    The government shutdown is having a deep impact on local transit systems. Investigative Reporter Scott MacFarlane reports on how the shutdown is affecting transit. (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    Transit agencies serving Washington, D.C., say they're missing out on significant ticket sales and over revenue during the partial federal government shutdown.

    MARC train monthly ticket sales have dropped 18 percent since the shutdown started, according to Maryland Transit Administration records. Federal workers receive transit benefits for three rail lines, the Brunswick, Camden and Penn.

    The agency says it plans to conduct a deeper analysis of the shutdown's impact on MARC's finances next month.

    Washington, D.C.'s Metro system says it is losing hundreds of thousands of dollars for every weekday that goes by during the partial federal government shutdown.

    In a letter to U.S. Senators representing Maryland and Virginia, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said the shutdown has resulted in about a 16 percent loss in average weekday Metrorail ridership and an 8 percent drop in Metrobus ridership on weekdays.

    "Our preliminary analysis estimates that for an average weekday when the federal government is closed, Metro is losing approximately $400,000 in fare and parking revenue," Wiedefeld said in the letter sent on Thursday.

    He goes on to say that if ridership continues to decline, Metro might consider staffing or service adjustments such as scaling back the number of trains it uses during rush hour.

    Metro could be forced to use its line of credit or postpone important repair projects if the shutdown continues longterm, according to Wiedefeld.

    "Like other transit agencies, we are not receiving our grant funding and cost reimbursements during the shutdown," the letter says.

    Wiedefeld said Metro anticipates a funding gap of about $50 million through the end of January due to the unpaid reimbursements.

    Wiedefeld says in the letter that Virginia senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine,  and Maryland senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen requested information about how the shutdown has affected Metro.

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