Metro is facing a $154 million deficit in next year's $1.3 billion operating budget, or about 12 percent. It's the largest shortfall in the agency's 33-year history. Metro General Manager John B. Catoe Jr. has said he will cut $81 million by eliminating 313 positions and trimming other administrative expenses. The first round of staffing cuts is expected to begin this month. That leaves a remaining hole of $73 million. The Metro board has asked staff to consider increasing revenue estimates for certain line items. It could also decide to move dollars from the capital budget to the operating side to reduce the deficit. At the moment, the jurisdictions served by Metro are not increasing their subsidies to the transit agency. And the board has said it does not want a fare increase. At the board's request, a regional advisory group has discussed about $80 million in possible service cuts.