Montgomery County council discusses impact of metro budget cuts

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM)– On Monday, Montgomery County Council held a town hall to discuss cuts for the Washington Metropolitan area transit authority’s budget for 2021.

“WMATA is proposing a $35 million budget cut across the D.C. region for bus routes and they decided to not have a meeting here in Montgomery County where approximately 65,000 residents take the metro bus every single day,” said Councilmember Evan Glass.

The Washington Metropolitan transit plans to cut four metro bus routes. Montgomery County Council held a town hall to give residents the chance to speak with WMATA board members about how this could negatively impact them.

“People who depend on the metro bus depend on it to get to work, school, and daily lives so WMATA needs to understand the real impact a budget cut, such as this, would make on people’s lives right here in Montgomery County,” said Councilmember Glass.

At the town hall, councilmembers discussed how cutting bus services will not only affect people who rely on the metro every day to make it to work and other activities, but it can have a negative environmental impact as well.

“We need more bus service because a lot of people can’t afford cars and when you’re trying to get people an alternative to driving, cutting bus service is going the wrong way,” said Montgomery County resident Dan Wilhelm.

According to Montgomery county’s climate action planning committee, 41 % of greenhouse gases come from transportation.

“If we can allow more people to not have cars, that’s thousands of dollars in their pocket and its just a healthier environment for everybody,” said resident David Helms.

WMATA board members say resident’s testimonies will be in their official transcript when making the final budget decision.

The metros board of directors will make their final decision in April of this year.

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