Metro seeks public input on FY13 budget and fare proposals
Public hearings scheduled Feb. 27 to March 7
Metro will host a series of public meetings to encourage participation and dialogue regarding its FY2013 budget and fare proposal, Feb. 27 to March 7.
The proposed operating and capital budgets for the next fiscal year support the critical rebuilding of the Metro system, and improving safety and reliability. The budget also provides service enhancements such as additional rush hour rail service, improved escalator maintenance, enhanced bus corridor services, increased security and continued compliance with National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations.
Metro’s Board of Directors will host six public hearings in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia beginning Feb. 27, where members of the public may provide formal testimony regarding the budget and fare proposals. Preceding each of the formal public hearings, Metro will host an hour-long Open Forum with multimedia stations to engage stakeholders and solicit public input. The Open Forum will include a video presentation on Metro’s rebuilding program, tables staffed by senior Metrobus, Metrorail, MetroAccess, SmarTrip and police officials who will be available to talk with participants and answer individual questions, and a third station where computers will be made available to take an online survey regarding Metro’s priorities, as well as to submit written comments for the record.
The public hearing portion of the sessions will provide an opportunity for comment on the docket of budget actions. To review the docket, visit www.wmata.com/hearings. The open forums present an opportunity for members of the public to learn about Metro’s current work to improve service and provide comments and suggestions on any topic, including subjects that are not on the docket.
The Board is slated to act on the FY2013 budget in June, and any fare changes they adopt would take effect July 2012.
The operating budget of $1.6 billion includes a proposed $53 million (8%) increase in funding from the jurisdictions and $66 million in increased revenue from fares. The fare adjustments also are designed to simplify Metro’s fare structure and encourage the use of SmarTrip cards. The proposed $904 million capital budget includes projects that will advance NTSB recommendations, including signal system upgrades and replacement of Metro’s oldest railcars, the 1000-series fleet, with new 7000-series cars, as well as track and infrastructure projects and rehabilitation, and replacement of escalators and elevators across the system.
Details and directions for transit travel to the public sessions are available on Metro’s website. Open forums begin at 6 p.m., followed by the public hearings at 7 p.m. The hearings will take place as follows:
Monday, Feb. 27
Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Services Center – Hearing 569
4805 Edgemoor Lane
Wednesday, Feb. 29
Mary Ellen Henderson Middle School Cafeteria – Hearing 570
7130 Leesburg Pike
Falls Church, VA
Thursday, March 1
Matthews Memorial Baptist Church – Hearing 571
John H. Kearney, Sr. Fellowship Hall
2616 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE
Monday, March 5
Washington Lee High School Cafeteria – Hearing 572
1301 N Stafford St
Tuesday, March 6
St. Columba’s Episcopal Church – Hearing 573
4201 Albemarle Street, NW
Wednesday, March 7
First United Methodist Church – Hearing 574
6201 Belcrest Road
How to register to speak at the public hearing
To establish a witness list for the public hearings, individuals and representatives of organizations who wish to be heard at the hearings are asked to provide in writing their name, address, telephone number and organization affiliation, if any, to Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. Alternatively, requests to speak may befaxed to 202-962-1133 or e-mailed to email@example.com. Please submit only one speaker’s name per letter and reference the hearing number. Lists of individual speakers will not be accepted. Others present at the hearing may be heard after people who have registered have spoken. Please note that this information may be releasable to the public under the WMATA Public Access to Records Policy (PARP). The PARP can be viewed on WMATA’s website under the link marked “Legal Affairs.” Public officials will be heard first and will be allowed five minutes each to make their presentations. All other speakers will be allowed three minutes each. Relinquishing of time by one speaker to another will not be permitted.
How to submit written comments
Written statements and exhibits may be sent to the Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001, or e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Statements also may be faxed to 202-962-1133. Please reference the hearing number. Submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 12. Please note that any personal information such as name, e-mail address, address, or telephone number you provide in the statement may be releasable to the public under the WMATA Public Access to Records Policy.
Additionally, a survey on possible options to balance the budget will be available on Metro’s website at www.wmata.com. Participants will be asked for their name and address and then asked to respond to questions about possible strategies for Metro to balance its budget. Names and addresses will not be released to anyone. This option is in addition to the ability to speak at a public hearing or to submit a written statement. The site will open by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 and will close at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 12.
The locations of all public hearings are wheelchair accessible. Any individual who requires special assistance such as a sign language interpreter or additional accommodation to participate in the public hearings, or who requires these materials in an alternate format, should contact Danise Peña at 202-962-2511 or TTY: 202-638-3780 as soon as possible in order for Metro to make necessary arrangements.
News release issued at 3:06 pm, February 10, 2012.