Metrobus officials say they will strive to get an "A" grade from D.C. riders. (Courtesy of WMATA)
Courtesy of WMATA

Metro, the second-busiest transit agency in the country, has floated a proposal for next fiscal year that could result in increased fares and changes to several bus routes.

According to documents posted online (https://bit.ly/38pWveH), the proposed $1.8 billion fiscal year 2021 capital budget would raise Metrorail peak fares by 15 cents, institute a flat weekend fare of $2 and a flat $4 parking fee at all Metro parking garages in Prince George’s County.

The agency’s board of directors are scheduled to discuss these and other proposed changes Thursday at Metro headquarters in northwest D.C.

A resolution could be approved to hold a public hearing on not only the capital budget, but also a six-year, $9.7 billion capital improvement program that includes future projects for expansion of the Silver Line, the Potomac Yard infill station in Alexandria, Virginia, and the Purple Line in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland.

Other Metrorail changes include:

Extending operating hours until midnight Monday through Thursday; until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Metro would run additional trains Sunday, but still close at 11 p.m.;
Running trains from every eight minutes to 12 minutes from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., but still charge peak, or rush hour fares; and
Running all trains with eight cars instead of some with just six cars.

In terms of bus service, bus fares would increase by 25 cents for those without a SmarTrip card and for riders who load money onto their cards.

Also, nearly six dozen proposed routes could be adjusted throughout the D.C. region.

For instance, Route 37, a limited stop along Wisconsin Avenuein the District, would be eliminated due to “redundancy.”

The Route E6 Chevy Chase that services portions of D.C. and Montgomery County would be combined with the M4 route along Nebraska Avenue in Northwest.

Due to “low ridership,” several routes would be cut, including three in Prince George’s: C11 and C13 (Clinton); C28 (Pointer Ridge in Bowie); and F12 (Ardwick Industrial Park shuttle in Hyattsville).

Public hearings would be scheduled forJanuary or February and the board approves the budget in March. If the board favors any of the proposed changes, they would go into effect when the new fiscal year begins in July.

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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