Metro (WMATA)

Metro Proposes Slashing Service, Closing 19 Stations Due to Half-Billion Budget Gap

Metro's general manager says there will have to be significant cuts without more federal funding

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What to Know

  • Metro will have to make massive cuts to service without significant federal stimulus funding, the general manager said.
  • Officials said they may have to close 19 Metro stations and end service on 19 bus lines.
  • Weekend Metro service would end.

Metro leaders are proposing ending weekend rail service, closing numerous stations and laying off some employees as the transit agency copes with a huge budget shortfall as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Metro announced Monday night it is considering the following cuts:

  • 30-minutes wait times between trains on every line
  • No service on Saturday and Sunday
  • Metrorail hours reduced to 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday
  • Closing 19 stations
  • Metrobus service reduced from 60 to 41 lines

Here's a map of stations that would close, including the Clarendon, College Park, Federal Triangle and Smithsonian stations.

The cuts would take effect in July 2021.

Any cut is painful. That’s just the reality of what we are up against right now

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld

General Manager Paul Wiedefeld says Metro is also looking at layoffs, freezing pay raises and trying to work with unions representing employees to lower some costs.

"From where I sit, it is clearly the toughest decisions that we've ever had to make,” Wiedefeld said in a video call with reporters.

Wiedefeld said Metro has a budget gap of almost a half a billion dollars as it has seen record-low ridership during the pandemic.

"Any cut is painful. That’s just the reality of what we are up against right now. So we don’t take it lightly,” Wiedefeld said.

Wiedefeld said the agency needs more federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) stimulus funding to prevent such changes.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called Metro's proposal "deeply troubling" and called for the federal government to save the system.

The public will have a chance to weigh in before any changes go into effect.

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