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Metro Holds Town Hall Meeting on Budget Shortfall

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During a town hall meeting, Metro and district representatives asked riders for advise on how to close the gap.
Elliot Francis
During a town hall meeting, Metro and district representatives asked riders for advise on how to close the gap.

Metro officials want advice on how to close a projected 100-million dollar budget shortfall for fiscal year 2011. About 50 D.C. residents attended a town hall gathering in to offer suggestions on how to close the gap which some have suggested could go as high as 140-million dollars.

Executives blamed the shortfall on high energy costs and insurance, falling advertising revenue, and a drop in ridership.

Some riders like Tiwana Phillips blamed the system's lack of service. " [I've seen] people drinking on the bus, cursing on the bus, fighting on the bus. We had some gentleman throw beer on us, and when we contacted the transit police, they laughed like it was funny."

One group, metroriders.org suggested Maryland and Virginia pay more to the system to help reduce the gap.

A similar meeting is scheduled in Virginia Wednesday.

Elliott Francis reports...

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