The WMATA Board just approved a FY2010 budget plan much like Option 4, with no service
reductions and an across-the-board fare surcharge of 10¢.
Arlington’s Chris Zimmerman created a resolution that modified Option 4 based on what he and other members heard last night. Among them was a directive to make more administrative cuts in lieu of some use of capital dollars.
Jim Graham spoke against the resolution, arguing that using some capital dollars would not take away from needed preventative maintenance, but ultimately allowed it to proceed without using the veto.
The resolution was not posted online during the meeting. I’ll update with the details once it’s available.
After the vote, Zimmerman also took a step that many of us had been urging: he publicly called for individual jurisdictions to try to increase their contributions. They all are facing tight budgets and deep cuts in many areas, he agreed, but argued that the possibility of increasing subsidies needs to be on the agenda as jurisdictions set their budgets. He’ll make sure it’s on Arlington’s.
Update: Here is the summary of rider input at the hearing:
- Support for Option #1: less than 1%
- Support for Option #2: 1%
- Support for Option #3: 3.5%
- Support for Option #4: 21.2%
- General opposition to modifying service: 54.6%
- General support for increasing fares: 55.7%
- Increasing fares 5 or 10 cents: 5.1%
- Increasing fares above 10 cents: 6.3%
- Support for using Metro’s capital funds sparingly to close the gap: 18.2%
- Opposition to using any capital funds to close the gap: 6.2%
- Speculation that proposed modifications to service will cause people to abandon Metro: 17.5%
- Opposition to changing rail headways or shortening trains: 15.9%
- Opposition to reducing rail service hours: 17.8%
- Support for closing certain rail station mezzanines: 3%
- Opposition to closing certain rail station mezzanines: 8%
- Opposition to changing bus headways: 5%
- Opposition to reducing the number of bus stops: 2.6%