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2/27/2015



Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA decides against fare hikes, service cuts for FY2016


The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) board yesterday decided not to implement fare increases and make substantial cuts in rail or bus service as it prepares to adopt a fiscal-year 2016 budget.

The board considers fare increases every two years, and had been considering implementing a 10-cent increase on rail and bus fares this year. Additionally, the board was considering options such as the elimination of late-night rail service and reductions in some bus service.

"While the final budget vote will come in the spring, the board's action [yesterday] reflects a continued commitment to further reduce administrative costs and reprogram money from non-safety programs, and signals continued support from our jurisdictional funding partners to help balance the budget and continue our standing fare and service policies," WMATA Chairman Mort Downey said in a press release.

The board is scheduled to adopt the final budget document in May. An earlier draft proposed a $1.8 billion operating budget for the next fiscal year.

Also, the board's search for a new general manager and chief executive officer is ongoing, Downey said. Jack Requa will continue to serve as interim GM until a new candidate is hired. The position has remained open since GM and CEO Richard Sarles retired last month.



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