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Beware of shared bikes with poop smears.

THE NEWS: 

Metro is coming under fire for its latest budget proposal. General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld showed the Metro board his budget proposal for the first time last week, and raised eyebrows for a suggested surcharge on certain commuters and conversations about fare evasion. 

The proposal suggests adding a quarter surcharge on Metrobus riders who pay in cash or reload their SmarTrip cards aboard buses. As 730DC’s Josh Kramer explains, “Encouraging SmarTrip use for quicker boarding makes sense. But by focusing on riders who pay with cash, Metro is using the ‘stick’ on some of DC’s most vulnerable residents.” Kramer goes on to explain that bus riders are, on average, lower income and thus are more likely to be un- or underbanked. Indeed, the District has one of the highest “unbanked” rates in the country. In 2017, roughly 8 percent of D.C. residents did not rely on the banking system, and 16 percent of African Americans did not.  

Wiedefeld also said Metro was projected to lose $40 million a year for fare evasion. He suggested D.C. should pay for the associated costs because the Council decriminalized fare evasion in 2018, while it’s still a crime in Maryland and Virginia. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen took to Twitter to call out Metro for faulting legislation he championed. “The District’s decrim law didn’t take effect until nearly the end of FY19. There were far larger increases in fare evasion when it was still a crime. It has been trending that way for a while,” tweeted Allen. “Fare evasion is an act of poverty far more than one of flippancy.”

Metro board members now must weigh Metro’s budget. While Metro championed rider favorites, like later hours and more frequent weekend service, it’s clear that some provisions are punitive to lower-income residents. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

MORE NEWS YOU CAN USE:

  • Supreme Court takes up DACA today. Hundreds of students walked out of class last week including Dany Vargas, a DREAMer who was detained in 2017. [WCP]

  • DC VA delays mailing over 1,000 breast cancer screening tests to patients. [NBC4]

  • New zero waste bill means big changes for composting and recycling. [Waste Dive]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • No Metro station in Georgetown goes beyond NIMBYism. [WAMU]

  • At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds’ two housing proposals are laughable, writes Jonetta Rose Barras. [DC Line]

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser’s former economic development official, Brian Kenner, left for a job at Amazon. Now she wants him to sit on the Events DC board. [WBJ]

  • There is a joint oversight roundtable on the Metro Transit Police Department’s impact on communities of color. [DC Council]

  • Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of Elijah Cummings, will run for Congress. [WTOP]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • A Malaysian American bar opens in Columbia Heights. [Washingtonian]

  • Toli Molicloses inside Union Market so the owners can focus on Thamee. [Eater]

  • Passion Food Hospitality loses another restaurant. [WBJ]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall(tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Signature Theatre’s A Chorus Line is a delightful revamping of the 44-year-old show. [WCP]

  • Museumgoers can participate in the Hirshhorn’s Marcel Duchamp exhibition by playing a game of chess. [DCist]

  • The mystery of the missing Radford newspapers has been semi-solved—but the campus police chief isn’t naming names. [Post]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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