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Metro Meets to Consider Budget Aiming to Win Back Riders

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Metro is considering a new plan designed to repair its relationship with riders in a budget that includes potentially cutting select fares.

Metro’s board is scheduled to meet Thursday to hear and discuss a budget proposal from General Manager Paul Wiedefeld.

The proposed budget includes a $2 flat fare for rides after 9:30 p.m., discounted passes and a $5 bonus for riders who load $25 onto their SmarTrip cards.

Money is also earmarked for the Silver Line, the new Potomac Yard Metro station and safety improvements.

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Operating expenses are expected to be about $2.2 billion, with public subsidies and federal relief funding about $1.8 billion.

COVID-19 and lockdowns cratered Metro ridership. The transit agency is planning for ridership to remain about half of pre-pandemic levels in 2023.

The effort to bring back riders was disrupted after a derailment last month on the Blue Line forced Metro to pull most of its cars off the track. A federal investigation is ongoing.

The budget would take effect in July.

Stay with News4 for more on this developing story.

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