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For immediate release: February 14, 2020

Metro wants your feedback on FY2021 budget, including expanded hours, fare and service changes

Metro wants your feedback on FY2021 budget, including expanded hours, fare and service changes

Metro is inviting the public to comment on its proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which aims to improve service and fare options, support ridership growth, and manage costs for the transit agency. Metro’s budget year begins July 1.

Significant safety and infrastructure investments in recent years helped fuel a Metrorail ridership increase of 20,000 trips per weekday in 2019, with on-time performance reaching its highest level in a decade. Metro’s proposed FY21 budget aims to continue that momentum while modernizing the system to continue to attract new riders.

Several key initiatives are being considered, including:

  • Extend service hours. Metrorail would return to a midnight closing time Monday through Thursday, and stay open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Bus service improvements. More weekend service on high-ridership routes, improved service and frequency on several MetroExtra routes.  
  • Elimination of transfer fees between Bus and Rail. Today, riders pay for Bus and Rail trips separately and get a $0.50 discount when transferring. Under this proposal, transfers between Metrorail and regular Metrobus services would be free. For example, today a Virginia customer traveling to L’Enfant Plaza might take a bus to the Pentagon and then transfer to Metrorail with a fare of $3.50 off-peak ($2 for bus + $2 for Metrorail - $0.50 discount). Under Metro’s proposal, this same trip would cost $2.
  • Metrorail fare changes. Fares during peak periods would increase for the first time in three years, and mileage tiers would be simplified. Customers can avoid paying more by using passes, as pass prices are not increasing. 
  • Metrobus fare changes. Metrobus fare of $2 would remain stable for the 94% of riders who use a loaded SmarTrip card to pay. Under the proposal, customers paying or loading their SmarTrip card with cash would pay $0.25 more.
  • Weekend flat fare for Metrorail. A simple, easy-to-remember price regardless of where you start and end your trip.
  • Metrobus changes to operate efficiently. Including elimination of selected low-ridership routes in combination with service enhancements and restructuring on other routes
Full details, including a fare calculator to see how proposed changes would affect you, is available at wmata.com/budget.

Metro’s Board of Directors encourages all customers and residents to provide feedback on the proposal during the public comment period, now through March 2. The Board considers public comment prior to making key decisions about the budget, along with fare and service changes. Any Board-approved fare or service changes will begin on or around July 1, 2020. Customers may provide feedback online, in person, or by mail through Monday, March 2, 2020 at 5 p.m.:

  • Take the online survey and provide comments
  • Attend an open house and public hearing at the one of the following three locations:
Monday, February 24, 2020
Hilton Arlington

950 N. Stafford Street, Arlington, VA 22203
Open House: 6 p.m., Public Hearing: 6:30 p.m.
Orange Line Silver Line Ballston-MU
Metrobus routes 1A, 1B, 2A, 10B, 22A, 22C, 23A, 23B, 23T, 25B, 38B,
ART routes 41, 42, 51, 52, 53, 62, 72, 75

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Metro Points Hotel

8500 Annapolis Road, New Carrollton, MD 20784
Open House: 6 p.m., Public Hearing: 6:30 p.m.
Orange Line New Carrollton
Metrobus routes B24, B27, F13, G12, G14, T14, TheBus Route 16
Free Shuttle bus provided from New Carrollton Station

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Metro Headquarters Building

600 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Open House: 4 p.m., Public Hearing: 4:30 p.m.
Red Line Yellow Line Green Line Gallery Place / Red Line Judiciary Sq
Metrobus routes 70, 74, 79, 80, D6, P6, X2

Note that dates may change due to weather. Check wmata.com/budget for any schedule changes.

  • Submit written comments by mail to: 
Office of the Board Secretary 
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority 
600 Fifth Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20001

To view the full dockets and for more information about the operating budget, visit wmata.com/budget.

Public participation is solicited without regard to race, color, national origin, age, gender, religion, disability or family status. If you require special accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act or translation services (free of charge), contact the project team at 202-962-2511 (TTY: 202-962- 2033) as soon as possible prior to the public hearing date. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be provided. 

HOW TO REGISTER TO SPEAK

All organizations or individuals desiring to be heard with respect to this docket will be afforded the opportunity to present their views, make supporting statements and to offer alternative proposals. Public officials will be allowed five minutes each to make their presentations. All others will be allowed three minutes each. Relinquishing of time by one speaker to another will not be permitted.

There will be no advance registration to speak. Those wishing to provide oral testimony will sign up to speak at the hearing, will be called to testify in the order they sign up, and can sign up to speak at any time prior to the close of the hearing. Elected public officials will be allowed to provide their testimony as soon as feasible after their registration. If you will not be able to stay to provide your testimony orally when your name is called, staff will help you to submit your comments into the public record, including through the use of a digital recorder to record your oral comments.

HOW TO SUBMIT TESTIMONY NOT AT THE PUBLIC HEARING

Testimony about this proposal may be submitted online via a survey at wmata.com/budget.

The survey will close on Monday, March 2, 2020 at 5 p.m. The survey will also provide the opportunity to submit freeform comments. This is in addition to your ability to speak at a public hearing. For those without access to computers or internet, testimony may also be mailed to the Office of the Board Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. All comments must be received by the Office of the Board Secretary by 5 p.m. Monday, March 2, 2020 to be included in the public record. 

The comments received by the Office of the Board Secretary, along with the survey results and public hearing comments, will be presented to the Board and will be part of the official public hearing record. Please note all statements are releasable to the public upon request, and may be posted on WMATA's website, without change, including any personal information provided. 

For those who do not have access to computers or internet, note that copies of the docket in its entirety can be requested from Metro's Office of the Board Secretary by calling 202-962-2511, and are available for inspection during normal business hours at Metro's Headquarters at 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Please call 202-962-2511 in advance to schedule an appointment.

Please note that all comments received are releasable to the public upon request, and may be posted on WMATA's website, without change, including any personal information you provide.