After months of budget deliberation, Metro's Board of Directors passed a sweeping package of fare hikes. But they rejected making any reductions to Metro's service.
By David Schultz
It's soon going to cost more to take Metro after the transit agency's Board of Directors passed a historically large fare increase. Starting late next month, taking a Metrobus will cost $1.50 for those using smart trip cards, and a $1.70 with cash.
Fares on Metro trains are a little more complicated. They'll be increasing by $0.25 during evenings, weekends and mid-days, $0.30 cents during rush hour, and $0.50 cents during the peak of rush hour from 7:30 to 9 in the morning and from 4:30 to 6 in the evening.
The good news is, there won't be any reductions in service. Jim Graham, a Board member who represents D.C., says balancing Metro's budget that way would have sparked outrage.
"People would find intolerable the idea that there would be a fare increase and also less service provided," says Graham.
Instead, Board Members opted to move $30 million from Metro's capital budget into its operating budget. That didn't sit well with Cathy Hudgins, a Board Member from Fairfax County, Virginia. She says this is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.
"With this budget, we will be creating a larger possibility of a deficit in a 2012 budget," says Hudgins.
In the end, the Board approved the fare hikes unanimously. They'll take effect Sunday, June 27th.