Metrorail train arriving Rhode Island Ave. Image used with permission.

Metro needs to close a $290 million budget gap, and to do that the agency is considering increasing bus and rail fares and removing bus routes. There will be a public open house held at Metro headquarters on Monday to allow anyone to speak directly to the board about the proposals.

Here’s where Metro wants to get the money to close its budget gap

Metro’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget was originally released back in October and marketed as the “Reality Check Budget Plan.”

The overall $3.1 billion budget asks for $130 million additional dollars from the three jurisdictions that oversee Metro (DC, Maryland, and Virginia). Riders would also pay more through $0.10 and $0.25 fare increases for rail and bus trips, respectively, and Metro would “pay” more by cutting hundreds of positions and cutting other back office expenses.

Sources of funding making up the FY2018 budget gap. Image by WMATA used with permission.

You can tell Metro what you think

Metro is required to hold a public hearing to gather comments from riders. The open house regarding the changes is this coming Monday from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, and the public will be able to speak their comments starting at 5 pm. Riders are also able to submit comments via an online survey, or directly to staff members at some Metrorail stations.

The period for public feedback about the proposed budget ends at 9 am on February 6th.

After that, the WMATA board’s finance committee must vote and approve the budget (which would happen on March 9th), then the full board of directors must vote and approve what came out of the committee. The full approval process must be finished by the Board’s March 23rd meeting in order for Metro to be fully ready for the changes when the new budget cycle begins in July.

What are your thoughts? Let us know below, and don’t forget to give Metro your feedback as well

Stephen Repetski is a Virginia native and has lived in the Fairfax area for over 20 years. He has a BS in Applied Networking and Systems Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology and works in Information Technology. Learning about, discussing, and analyzing transit (especially planes and trains) is a hobby he enjoys.