Impending ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Could Doom DC Transit’s Dramatic Improvement Efforts

Without additional funding, the region’s transit agency could be forced to reverse key changes that have improved service in the past year.

1 minute read

October 29, 2023, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

D.C. Metro System

Hugo Mauricio Lopez V / Shutterstock

The major improvements experienced by Washington, D.C.-area transit riders could come to and end next year, according to a TransitCenter blog post. “This week, WMATA leaders released an outline of doomsday funding scenarios, which include severe service cuts that could eliminate bus routes, reduce rail hours, create longer waits between trains, and close down stations.”

The blog post outlines some of the most significant improvements in the last year, noting that “Metro will have 58 percent more trains in service on weekdays compared to July 2022 and provide 73 percent more train trips.” The agency also has several other improvements on deck, such as all-door boarding, which begins this fall.

“WMATA is an essential part of the DC region’s economy, and service cuts of this magnitude would be devastating for the mobility of the region,” the post continues. But “As of September, WMATA’s budget gap totals $750 million. If the agency isn’t able to close the gap by next summer, it will lose all of the progress that’s been made and will have to start initiating hiring freezes and layoffs that would dramatically reduce systemwide operating hours and cause increased wait times for passengers.”

Thursday, October 26, 2023 in TransitCenter

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