Metro Schedules Hearing for Next Budget Deficit Plan - NBC4 Washington

Metro Schedules Hearing for Next Budget Deficit Plan



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    Fresh off a "temporary" 10-cent fare hike, Metro has scheduled six public hearings on the next budget deficit.

    The transit agency is preparing for a $189 million budget gap for fiscal year 2011.

    The public is invited to public hearings in March and April to offer their input.

    Possible fare increases being considered for FY2011 include:

    • Increasing the Metrorail peak period boarding charge from $1.65 to up to $2;
    • Increasing the Metrorail maximum peak period fare from $4.50 to up to $5:45;
    • Implementing a surcharge of up to 50 cents for “peak-of-the-peak” trips from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and 4:30 to 6 p.m. weekdays;
    • Increasing the Metrorail off-peak boarding charge from $1.35 to up to $1.65;
    • Increasing Metrorail and Metrobus passes so the price is consistent with boarding charges;
    • Increasing the Metrobus boarding charge from $1.25 to up to $1.60 with SmarTrip® and from $1.35 to up to $1.70 with cash;
    • Increasing the MetroAccess fare to up to twice the comparable fixed route fare;
    • Increasing all daily parking rates by up to $1.15; and
    • Increasing the bicycle locker yearly rental fee from $70 to up to $200.

    Service reductions being considered for FY2011 include:

    • Making seasonal adjustments to service to meet demand;
    • Increasing intervals between trains and buses;
    • Closing some station mezzanines and rail stations during periods of low ridership (such as weekends or late at night);
    • Beginning rail service later in the mornings;
    • Modifying late-night rail and bus service; and
    • Eliminating some low-ridership bus routes or portions of routes.

    Changes to MetroAccess service being considered for FY2011 include:

    • Reduce the MetroAccess service area (within Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines) to reflect actual fixed-route bus and rail service areas reflecting the actual time, day and location;
    • Charging a premium for service provided to locations beyond the ¾-mile corridor around fixed-route services. The premium for zones would be $4 extra for zone 1, $8 extra for zone 2, $12 extra for zone 3 and $16 extra for zone 4;
    • Aligning the MetroAccess fare structure to the maximum allowed under the ADA definition, which is twice the equivalent of fixed-route fare; and
    • Restricting the use of the Free Ride Program to only those MetroAccess certified persons with conditional eligibility.

    All of these hearings start at 7 p.m. after a 6:30 p.m. open house:

    • March 22
      Oakton High School Lecture Hall
      2900 Sutton Road
      Vienna, VA
    • March 24
      St. Francis Xavier Church, Bailey Room
      2800 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
      Washington, DC
    • March 29
      Mt. Calvary Baptist Church
      5120 Whitfield Chapel Road
      Lanham, MD
    • March 31
      Arlington County Board Room, 3rd Floor
      2100 Clarendon Boulevard
      Arlington, VA
    • April 1
      All Souls Unitarian Church, Pierce Hall
      1500 Harvard Street, NW
      Washington, DC
    • April 1
      Montgomery County Executive Office Building, Cafeteria
      101 Monroe Street (entrance on Jefferson Street)
      Rockville, MD