With Ridership Still Way Down, Metro Hosts Public Hearings on Proposed Budget Cuts

Despite receiving federal stimulus dollars, Metrorail and Metrobus may still curtail their services.

Metro’s Fiscal Year 2022 budget eliminates 22 stations with low ridership or are located close to other stations. Three of those stations are on the Red Line. They are Grosvenor-Strathmore, Judiciary Square and Cleveland Park. Turnbacks would return at the Silver Spring and Grosvenor-Strathmore stations.

Prior to adopting the budget, Metro’s board of directors is seeking input from the public through March 16. Commuters are urged to take an online survey which is available in English and Spanish. Comments can be made by phone at 844-468-5748.

There will be four virtual public hearings on March 8 through March 10. They will be streamed at wmata.com/budget and on Metro’s YouTube page, YouTube.com/MetroForward.

Metro officials have stressed that they continue to seek more federal funds, and if that happens, the budget would be reworked. But as of now, Metrorail would continue its service levels and hours through the end of 2021, and Metrobus will restore at least partial service to some of its lines and extend its service until 2 a.m.

“Metro is facing a significant budget shortfall due to a decrease in ridership caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, with ridership down about 90 percent and 60 percent on Metrorail and Metrobus, respectively,” it noted in a Feb. 22 press release.

The proposed FY22 capital budget amounts to $2.6 billion and its six-year capital plan is for $12.3 billion.

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