Last year, Metro failed to meet its targets for on-time performance, employee and customer injuries, railcar reliability and customer satisfaction. The Metro board’s chairman Jack Evans and General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld said recently that the system was in such poor shape that segments of rail lines could shut down for weeks at a time for maintenance, and that much more additional funding is needed.

The challenges Metro faces resemble the labors of Hercules.

alerts released in the last seven days.
$1.3B
more needed each year, according to the board chair.
4.3%
ridership down in the last three years.
Ridership is going down.
While the Washington region continues to grow, Metro ridership has been falling in recent years and is currently just below 2006 levels.
Change in metro area population and Metro ridership in the last decade

There were 712,843 weekday average boardings in Metro in 2015, versus the 750,431 peak of 2008.

2015 data includes Silver line.

2014

+14.7%

15%

D.C.

metro area

population

10

5

Metro average

weekday boardings

0

2006

2015

-0.1%

There were 712,843 weekday average boardings in Metro in 2015, versus the 750,431 peak of 2008.

2014

+14.7%

15%

D.C.

metro area

population

10

2015

-0.1%

Includes

Silver line data,

opened in

July 2014

5

Metro average

weekday boardings

0

2015

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

There were 712,843 weekday average boardings in Metro in 2015, versus the 750,431 peak of 2008.

2014

+14.7%

15%

D.C.

metro area

population

10

2015

-0.1%

Includes

Silver line data,

opened in

July 2014

5

Metro average

weekday boardings

0

2015

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

The system has performance issues.
WMATA’s target for on-time performance in 2015 was 91 percent.
Only the Yellow Line met the goal. The overall result was only 84 percent.
On-time performance by line in 2015
2015 average
Month-by-month data
On-time performance of Orange and Silver lines dropped below 60% in October 2015.
Service disruptions are a daily concern for Metro riders. This is a list of problems important enough for Metro to release an alert in the last 24 hours:
POLL
It’s expensive to ride.
Metro fares are among the highest of any system in the country. They are even more expensive after adjusting for the cost of living. Fares for San Francisco’s BART are higher, but after adjusting for the higher cost of living in the California city, most are cheaper than Metro’s.
Adjust by Cost of Living
No
Yes
Base fare
Maximum fare
Max fare for MBTA & SEPTA is the cash fare; BART, CTA fares do not include airport trip routes; BART fares include weekend and night routes.
WMATA has a big, complicated board of directors.

Many different entities with different sensibilities, politics and priorities appoint the system’s board members: the District, Maryland, Virginia, and the cities and counties served by Metro, as well as the federal government.

8 voting members

Each entity selects two members

MARYLAND

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Jack

Evans

Corbett A.

Price

Keturah D.

Harley

Michael

Goldman

Chair

1st Vice Chair

VIRGINIA

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Mortimer L.

Downey

Harriet

Tregoning

Jim

Corcoran

Catherine

Hudgins

2nd Vice

Chair

Fairfax Co.

8 alternate members

Each entity selects two members

MARYLAND

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Tom

Bulger

Leif A.

Dormsjo

Malcolm

Augustine

Kathy

Porter

DDOT

P. George's Co.

Montgomery Co.

VIRGINIA

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Christian

Dorsey

Paul C.

Smedberg

Alexandria

Anthony E.

Costa

Anthony R.

Giancola

Arlington Co.

8 voting members

Each entity selects two members

MARYLAND

VIRGINIA

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Jack

Evans

Corbett A.

Price

Keturah D.

Harley

Michael

Goldman

Jim

Corcoran

Catherine

Hudgins

Mortimer L.

Downey

Harriet

Tregoning

1st Vice Chair

2nd Vice Chair

Chair

Fairfax Co.

8 alternate members

Each entity selects two members

MARYLAND

VIRGINIA

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Tom

Bulger

Leif A.

Dormsjo

Malcolm

Augustine

Kathy

Porter

Paul C.

Smedberg

Alexandria

Anthony E.

Costa

Anthony R.

Giancola

Christian

Dorsey

DDOT

P. George's Co.

Montgom. Co.

Arlington Co.

8

MARYLAND

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

VIRGINIA

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

voting

members

Each entity

selects two

members

Mortimer L. Downey

Harriet Tregoning

Keturah D. Harley

Michael Goldman

Jim Corcoran

Catherine Hudgins

Jack Evans

Corbett A. Price

1st Vice Chair

Chair

2nd Vice Chair

Fairfax Co.

8

alternate

members

Each entity

selects two

members

Malcolm Augustine

Christian Dorsey

Paul C. Smedberg

Alexandria

Kathy Porter

Anthony E. Costa

Anthony R.

Giancola

Tom Bulger

Leif A. Dormsjo

Prince George's Co.

Arlington Co.

Montgomery Co.

DDOT

Show comparison with other systems
CTA (Chicago)
Seven members. Four appointed by the mayor of Chicago and three by the governor of Illinois.
SEPTA (Philadelphia)
Ten members. Five appointed by the counties, one by the governor, two by the Senate majority leader, two by the House majority leader.
MARTA (Atlanta)
Fourteen members. Three represent the city of Atlanta, nine represent sourrounding counties, two represent the state.
MBTA (Boston)
Eleven members who oversee all Department of Transportation operations. All of them are appointed by the Massachusetts governor.
MTA (New York)
Seventeen members. All nominated by the governor, though four are recommended by the city, and seven by the counties (four of them represent only one vote).
BART (San Francisco)
Nine members. Each one is elected by one of the BART districts and serves for four years.
POLL
There are huge funding challenges ahead.
There is no dedicated funding for Metro, which requires extensive negotiation for the approval of each year's budget. Also, a federal government capital funding agreement worth $150 million a year for Metro is scheduled to expire in 2019, casting a new challenge over the future of WMATA.
Jack Evans, current chairman of the board, is proposing that Maryland, Virginia and the District provide an additional $1 billion a year for capital funding, that the federal government extend all its capital contributions beyond 2019, and that the federal government also contribute an additional $300 million a year for operations.

OPERATING EXPENSES

(METRORAIL ONLY)

FY2017 proposed budget

$952.9m

$83.3m

D.C.

$89.2m

MD

$77.5m

VA

Covered with revenue

$702.93m

What Evans says Metro

needs for the future

Federal Gov.

contribution

$300m/year

Based on

each year’s

revenue

(for all

WMATA)

Same states and

local provisions

+increased

labor costs

CAPITAL BUDGET (ALL WMATA)

FY2017 proposed budget

$1,1828.3m

Others

$299.3m

$119.5m

Federal

Government

D.C.

$115.4m

MD

$469.5

$102.9m

VA

What Evans says WMATA

needs for the future

Add states and local

dedicated funding

for a total of

Renewing

all Federal

funding

$1 billion per year

beyond 2019

OPERATING EXPENSES (METRORAIL ONLY)

FY2017 proposed budget

$952.9m

Covered with revenue

Virginia

$77.5m

$702.93m

Maryland

D.C.

$83.3m

$89.2m

What Evans says Metrorail needs for the future

Covered with each

year’s revenue

Same states and

local provisions

Federal Government

contribution

$300m/year

+increased

labor costs

(for all WMATA)

CAPITAL BUDGET (ALL WMATA)

FY2017 proposed budget

$1,1828.3m

Others

$299.3m

D.C.

Virginia

Maryland

Federal Government

$119.5m

$115.4m

$102.9m

$469.5

What Evans says WMATA needs for the future

Add states and local dedicated funding for a total of

Renewing all Federal funding

$1 billion per year

beyond 2019

OPERATING EXPENSES (METRORAIL ONLY)

FY2017 proposed budget

$952.9m

Maryland

Virginia

D.C.

Covered with revenue

$83.3m

$89.2m

$77.5m

$702.93m

What Evans says Metrorail needs for the future

Covered with each

year’s revenue

Same states and

local provisions

Federal Government

contribution

$300m/year

+increased

labor costs

(for all WMATA)

CAPITAL BUDGET (ALL WMATA)

FY2017 proposed budget

$1,1828.3m

Federal

Government

D.C.

Virginia

Others

Maryland

$119.5m

$102.9m

$115.4m

$299.3m

$469.5

What Evans says WMATA needs for the future

Add states and local dedicated funding for a total of

Renewing all Federal funding

$1 billion per year

beyond 2019

POLL
CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated that the maximum fare for BART (not including airport fares) was $7.10, as listed by WMATA on its FY2017 Budget. The maximum fare for BART is actually $7.75.
Sources: WMATA 2015 historic rail ridership, United States Census Bureau, WMATA Vital Signs Report 2015, MetroAlerts, WMATA FY2017 Budget, WMATA.com, transportation systems websites.

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