At the Coalition for Smarter Growth, we are concerned about the negative impact of fare hikes and service cuts. Therefore, we support a larger infusion of funding from the region’s local jurisdictions.
Metro is critically important to our region’s economic strength and its ability to handle growth without increasing traffic. Public transit provides DC, MD, and VA residents access to jobs, drives economic growth through transit-oriented development, and is better for the environment. Our region would not function without this critical public utility.
The Coalition for Smarter Growth believes avoiding fare hikes and service cuts is critical to maintaining public support for Metro and a competitive transit system. As an alternative to Metro’s “Reality Check” budget, we support closing the entire $290 million budget gap through a combination of DC, MD, and VA each stepping up to fund the system and savings from business efficiencies and internal cost cutting.
WMATA’s budget proposal
Metro’s budget gap is $290 million. The “Reality Check” budget proposes to close the gap through:
- A $130 million increase in support from local jurisdictions (DC, MD, VA)
- $50 million savings through eliminating 1000 positions and other cost cutting measures
- Longer headways (time between trains) on Metrorail, especially outside the core
- Eliminating the 14 bus lines with lowest ridership and/or highest subsidies
- Fare increases: $.25 for bus, $.10 for rail and for parking.
This is the expected timeline for the FY2018 budget:
- October 2016: Metro released FY2018 “Reality Check” budget proposal
- February 6, 2017: Public comment period on budget proposal closed
- March 9, 2017 (expected): WMATA board’s finance committee to vote and approve budget
- March 23, 2017 (expected): Full WMATA board to vote on committee’s recommendation
- July 1, 2017: FY2018 budget cycle begins under the new budget approved by the Board of Directors.
Here are a few ways you can tell your local elected officials to fully fund Metro:
- Urge the DC Mayor and Council to fund Metro
- Tell your Maryland Officials to fund Metro now
- Tell the Arlington Board to fund Metro
- Alexandria Mayor and Council, fund Metro now!
- Fairfax County should fully fund Metro now
- Urge the City of Fairfax to fully fund Metro now
- Tell the City of Falls Church to fully fund Metro now