With fewer riders in the system during the last year, Metro revenues failed to meet expectations.
Metro is losing riders and revenue for the transit agency is falling short of projections, according to a performance review released today (pdf).
Due in part to a large drop in weekend use — when track work leads to long waits — Metro rail ridership fell more than 4 percent during the last fiscal year. Weekend ridership just this past June was 12 percent lower than in June 2012.
In a report the Metro board will discuss at its Thursday meeting, the drop in riders is also being blamed on the two-day system shutdown caused by Hurricane Sandy and the federal government's Christmas Eve holiday. Fewer riders means less revenue.
Metro's fiscal year 2013 overall revenue was $20.3 million below projections — a large chunk of that from Hurricane Sandy and the Christmas Eve day off. Revenue from rail ridership was $7.2 million below projections as 9.3 million fewer trips were taken than budgeted.
These figures come at a time when riders face several more years of track work that has already aliented some to the point where they've abandoned mass transit on the weekends in favor of driving.