Photo by Mr. T in DC.

According to this presentation, which the Metro Board’s Special Budget Committee will discuss Thursday, the previously proposed service cuts leave the District of Columbia with a $2.9 million surplus at the end. This means that those cuts to Metrobus and Metrorail affected the District of Columbia disproportionately through the funding formula. Chairman Jim Graham, Neil Albert, Michael A. Brown and Anthony Giancola, the District’s representatives on the committee, should ask why the District should have service cut more than needed to keep their subsidy the same as last year, while other jurisdictions still need to give up more to balance the budget.

For reference, here are the other jurisdictions and the amount of additional service cuts to non-regional bus service needed to balance the budget:

                                                                                                    
JurisdictionAdditional non-regional bus cuts (increases)
needed to balance
DC($2.9M)
Mongomery County4.7
Prince George’s3.2
City of Alexandria0.2
Arlington County1.2
City of Fairfax0.1
Fairfax County1.0
Falls Church0.0
Total$7.4M

These numbers are the amounts of non-regional bus service that would need to be cut (or added) in order to balance each jurisdiction’s Metro budget, after already taking into account the administrative changes proposed in January and the service cuts proposed earlier this month.  Non-regional bus lines are ones that don’t cross jurisdictional boundaries, such as the U8 (Capitol Heights to Benning Heights) in DC, the 18s (Orange Hunt) and 17s (Kings Park Express) in Virginia, and the R4 (Queen’s Chapel Road) in Maryland bus routes.  Each jurisdiction directly pays for non-regional bus lines’ costs after subtracting fares, rather than through the funding formula for rail or bus.  Rail’s funding formula takes into account population and density, ridership, and number of rail stations.  Regional Bus’s formula is based on population and density, service hours, the number of miles buses traveled, and ridership.  Paratransit is paid for by the rider’s home jurisdiction.

From the table, any further cuts are likely to hit Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, while the District may be looking at improving service compared to the previous proposal. WMATA staff is suggesting that the Board vote on March 5th to send these service cuts to public hearings. After listening to the hearings and written public comment, they’d approve final service reductions on April 23. As always, more to follow.

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Michael Perkins blogs about Metro operations and fares, performance parking, and any other government and economics information he finds on the Web. He lives with his wife and two children in Arlington, Virginia.