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Stimulus Relief Could Save Metro from Extreme Service Cuts

Metro has received a reprieve of sorts, as the latest coronavirus relief bill signed into law by President Trump and the much-needed infusion of funds it will provide should thwart draconian service cuts threatened by the transit agency — at least for the next few months.

The stimulus bill includes approximately $800 million for transit projects in the Washington metropolitan area with a majority of those funds likely going to Metro, WRC-TV (Channel 4) reported.

Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld earlier this month warned that the coronavirus pandemic’s severe affect on ridership could result in the closing of 19 rail stations, layoffs and drastic service reductions, including terminating weekend rail service and only running trains every 30 minutes.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) expressed relief about the financial lifeline from the federal government.

“This will not solve the Metro problem forever, but it will buy us the four months that this emergency relief has been targeted for,” Warner said, WRC reported.

Nevertheless, Metro’s board of directors has launched a public comment period on the proposed budget cuts despite the incoming stimulus funds, WRC reported.

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