D.C. area transit agency sets Md. budget forums

By Lena H. Sun
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 29, 2009

Metro officials will host two public forums in Maryland to talk with riders and local officials about a projected $144 million shortfall in next year's operating budget.

The Montgomery County forum is scheduled for Nov. 3 in the Kennedy High School cafeteria, 1901 Randolph Rd. in Silver Spring. The Prince George's County forum is scheduled for Nov. 18 at Prince George's Community College's Rennie Forum in the Largo Student Center, 301 Largo Rd. in Largo. Both programs will begin at 7 p.m.

Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. will give a presentation, and public discussion will follow. Peter Benjamin, the Metro board's first vice chairman, and board member Gordon Linton will attend the Montgomery forum; board members Elizabeth Hewlett and Marcell Solomon will attend the Prince George's forum.

The agency is preparing its budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2010. Metro board members have said a fare increase is under consideration.

Riders at forums in the District and Virginia have said local governments need to pay more to cover Metro's costs, especially MetroAccess service for disabled riders. Metrobus, Metrorail and MetroAccess are funded partly by passenger revenue and partly by subsidies provided by the District, Maryland and local jurisdictions in Northern Virginia.

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