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Coming off a deadly accident last week that left some residents wary of riding its trains, Metro is considering moves that could further turn off customers, including fare increases and service reductions.
Among the changes under consideration is a 10-cent hike in Metrorail and Metrobus fares this fall—-an unusual move, since Metro generally raises fares every other year, and this year wasn’t supposed to see any increase. Metro estimates that fare increase could raise about $22 million dollars in fiscal year 2016, despite the anticipated loss of two million rides.
Metro is also considering a reduction in train frequency, from every six minutes to every eight minutes during peak hours, from every 12 minutes to every 15 minutes during off-peak hours, and from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes on Sundays. Even though that change would cut fare revenue by $11 million annually, it would still net Metro about $13 million per year.
A presentation prepared by the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs Metro, proposes these potential changes as a way to reduce the subsidy required from the jurisdictions in the region. According to NBC4, which first reported the news, some members of Metro’s board have balked at the existing plan to ask regional jurisdictions to contribute 18 percent more next year than this year. This proposal would substantially reduce that increase.
Metro’s presentation emphasizes that the changes are analyzed just for information and do not constitute a recommended course of action.
Photo by Aaron Wiener