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Fighting For Bus Service In Southeast D.C.

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Fort Washington, Md. resident Anthony Mitchell pleads with Metro manager not to cut his bus service at a public hearing in Southeast D.C.
David Schultz
Fort Washington, Md. resident Anthony Mitchell pleads with Metro manager not to cut his bus service at a public hearing in Southeast D.C.

By David Schultz

At a church in Southeast D.C., Debra Jones is pleading with several Metro managers not to cut her bus service.

For dramatic effect, she reaches into her purse and pulls out a SmarTrip card.

"I've been riding the bus all my life," says Jones, waving the card in the air. "If it wasn't for Metro, I wouldn't go anywhere. This is like life and death to me. "

This is one of Metro's public hearings on its drastically scaled-back budget.

The last one, held earlier this week in Northern Virginia, drew only a couple dozen people. But in Southeast D.C., they ran out of seats.

Jones says, without bus service, this part of town would be isolated:

"If you cut this off, how are we going to get into the city? I love Metro. Metro is my lifeline," she says.

Metro is considering eliminating dozens of bus lines to fill a $189 million budget shortfall. Metro's next public hearing is scheduled for this Monday at Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Lanham, Maryland.

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