Passengers on a Green Line train at L’Enfant Plaza Metro station. (Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

Metro will reduce its call center hours as part of ongoing belt-tightening at the cash-strapped agency.

Beginning March 1, the Customer Information Call Center will be staffed from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. weekends, the agency said Thursday. The call center currently opens at 6 a.m. weekdays and  7 a.m. weekends and closes at 8:30 p.m. daily.

The move comes as Metro looks to fill a $290 million budget shortfall driven in part by falling ridership.

Metro says it will save $1 million a year as a result of the change, with the funds coming mostly out of wages and benefits for staffers.

The agency said call volume at the center has been on a “steady five-year decline”, as riders have turned to the agency’s website, round-the-clock voice response system, social media, MetroAlerts and other channels for information.

Metro’s call center for MetroAccess queries will not be affected, according to the agency, nor will hours for a social team staffing a new customer service initiative.

The program, introduced last fall, is called social customer care — and involves a team of four dedicated staffers who respond to rider concerns on social media.

This post has been updated.

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