After much discussion today, Metro’s budget commitee decided to take a multi-pronged approach to closing Metro’s $29M budget gap for FY 2010. During the next two weeks, each jurisdiction is going to come up with a combination of service cuts and subsidy increases that will balance their share of the shortfall. Some jurisdictions wanted to raise their contribution, while others didn’t. This a la carte method lets the jurisdictions go their own ways. Because individual jurisdictions would not be allowed to adversely affect each other and the way rail service is funded, this plan essentially takes all cuts to rail service off the table.
On March 26, the commitee plans to reconvene to discuss each jurisdiction’s contribution to balancing the budget. They’ll also discuss two additional regionwide options: raising fares across the board by up to 10 cents, or plugging the hole in the operating budget by transferring capital funding. The District of Columbia would likely veto the first option. The second is the same plan we thought the board would approve today, but did not.
After the commitee discusses these proposals, the selected options would need to be sent out for public hearing.