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Metro to Hike Fares, Cut Service Starting This Summer

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:

DC

S2, S4, S9: Convert S2 and S4 trips to S9 trips

Maryland

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

Virginia

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.

Missing Attachment Metro may raise fares and discontinue 13 bus routes to help close a budget gap. There’s a vote on that subject Thursday night. News4 Transportation Reporter Adam Tuss rode one of those routes — the 2T that runs from Dun Loring through Vienna and up to Tysons — and explains what’s at stake.

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.

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