The Washington Post

D.C. asked for more money to help close Metro’s deficit

Muriel Bowser (Daniel Peck)

D.C. Council member Muriel E. Bowser sent a letter Wednesday to Mayor Vincent C. Gray asking for more money to help fund Metro, as it tries to fix a deteriorating system and prepare for the new Silver Line.

In the letter, Bowser said Metro’s “long overdue maintenance and capital programs,” plus getting ready for the new Silver Line through Tysons Corner to Reston, are efforts that have “large costs.” The Silver Line is expected to be completed next year.

Metro General Manager Richard Sarles has proposed increasing fares for riders on rail and bus and raising rates in parking lots, and is asking the three area jurisdictions for more money to close a $116 million deficit for fiscal 2013.

The District is expected to pay $250.5 million; Maryland $265.7 million; and Virginia $157.3 million. The amount of subsidy a jurisdiction pays is based on calculations of its ridership, the number of stations in its area and other factors.

Public hearings are under way this week and next to get input, and the board is expected to debate the budget over the coming months. It will pass a balanced budget by summer.

Bowser wrote that “previous budgets have required the Council to reduce funding for other District programs and re-appropriate them to meet the needs of the WMATA subsidy.”

She goes on, “your assistance in fully funding the WMATA subsidy is critical to ensuring that no one is left without these vital transportation services.”

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.


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