Washington Metro Draft Budget Includes Improved Frequency, Higher Fares

The D.C. transit agency plans to increase service in the hopes of boosting lagging ridership and avoiding layoffs and service disruptions.

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December 8, 2022, 5:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Washington, D.C.

Sharkshock / Shutterstock

The Washington Metro announced plans for “a return to normalcy” with its draft budget, reports Justin George for the Washington Post. The agency plans to make improvements to train service while raising fares an average of 5 percent, with fare discounts for income-qualified riders.

“Transit officials say the $2.3 billion budget plan responds to trends that have emerged during the pandemic, but acknowledge the relatively rosy financial forecast will be short-lived without substantial growth in rail ridership.” According to George, “The spending plan avoids layoffs or significant service reductions with the help of federal infrastructure money that transit officials say can insulate Metro — for at least one year — from a harsh landscape for public transit.” 

As part of the plan, the Yellow Line would stop operating north of Mount Vernon Square while service frequency would improve on other lines. The agency also plans to reinstate automated piloting, which it stopped using after a fatal 2009 collision. The autopilot system was later found not to have contributed to the crash. “If Metro receives permission from the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, which monitors safety on the rail system, Metro plans to launch autopilot on the Red Line in spring with a goal of converting the entire system by the end of the year.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2022 in The Washington Post

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