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Metro Riders Weigh In On Proposed Budget

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The Metro's budget gap has been the subject of a number of hearings. Fare hikes and reduced service are among the proposals to close the budget shortfall.
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The Metro's budget gap has been the subject of a number of hearings. Fare hikes and reduced service are among the proposals to close the budget shortfall.

By Natalie Neumann

Closing Metro's $189-million budget gap has been the subject of a round of recent public hearings, and many commuters speaking at last night's meeting in Northern Virginia prefer fare hikes to reducing bus and rail service.

Metro riders filled the seats in the Arlington County Board room. Among them, Carl Saperstein, who says he sold his car when he moved to Arlington.

"I rely on Metro to get to work. I need it. I can't get around without it," says Saperstein.

He says raising fares is preferable to having no service at all.

Barbara Milleville, the president of National Capitol Citizens with Low Vision, says her members depend on Metro's trains, buses and MetroAccess vehicles.

"We have no other option to get places, to work and visit the doctors and to have fun," says Milleville.

Two more public hearings are scheduled for tonight, one in Northwest D.C., the other in Rockville, Maryland. Metro expects to have it budget completed by the end of the month.

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