Metrorail passengers could wait longer for trains on weekends
By Katherine Shaver,
Metrobus passengers in Maryland and Northern Virginia will keep all their routes, but Metrorail riders could wait longer for trains on weekends as part of the agency’s efforts to close a $72 million gap in its next operating budget.
However, Metro’s board of directors said Thursday they are still considering cutting some bus routes in the District to save money. The board also agreed it would not try to generate income by selling naming rights to Metrorail stations.
In a meeting, board members also said they are considering adding a 5-cent surcharge at Union Station that would be collected when Metrorail passengers both enter and leave that station. The surcharge revenue, which would be kept separate from the operating budget, would fund construction improvements at the station.
Board members from Maryland and Virginia said their jurisdictions wanted to keep all their bus routes, while District board members said they wanted to keep the option of cutting some lightly used routes to balance the budget.
Metro General Manager Richard Sarles has said the jurisdictions must cover the $72 million gap in the proposed $1.47 billion operating budget that takes effect July 1 or agree to cut service. The shortfall also could be covered by a combination of increased subsidies and cuts.
All proposed service cuts will go to a public hearing in May. A Metro lawyer told the board that the Union Station surcharge did not need public comment before the board votes on it because the proposal was aired at public meetings last year.