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Second Metro Fare Hike Proposed For July

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A half-globe, part of a public arts project to go up in the Metro system, awaits its fate in the Metro boardroom.
Stephanie Kaye
A half-globe, part of a public arts project to go up in the Metro system, awaits its fate in the Metro boardroom.

By Stephanie Kaye

As a ten cent fare hike goes into effect on the Metro system, board members are considering a second increase this July.

Metro is struggling to make it from one budget gap to the next. Spokesman Stephen Taubenkibel says it doesn't help that fewer people are using the system. "A lot of it has to do with the fact of reduced ridership, reduced revenue. The economy has hurt this transit agency like other transit properties across the United States."

Metro is also funded in part by DC, Maryland and Virginia, which are going through their own financial hardships. "The local jurisdictions can only contribute so much to our budget, because they have their own fiscal responsibilities as well."

In 2011, Metro is looking to make up for a shortfall of $189 million in its budget by cutting services, increasing rates and through federal subsidies. The agency plans to hold public meetings before voting on the increases. The proposed changes would apply to Metrotrains, which would increase to a base fare of $1.90 during rush hour and $1.55 during off-peak hours.

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