WASHINGTON (WDVM) — Metro announced ridership and revenue has dropped to 90% on some lines, causing a $200 million budget shortfall and a delay to the expansion of the Silver Line.
The Silver Line is now expected to open, at the earliest, in July of 2021.
CEO Paul Wiedefield says the CARES funding Metro is receiving has essentially replaced fare revenue.
In the event that the CARES funding stops in December, Metro will have to cut back with more service cuts, layoffs and schedule changes.
“Metro is what drives the region’s economy and moves our federal workforce. Cutting service, shortening operating hours, laying off and furloughing workers – these all run counter to the strong recovery that everyone wants,” said Wiedefeld.
In a statement WMATA said, “Fare revenue from Metrorail trips typically accounts for about 28 percent of Metro’s total operating budget. Weekday Metrorail ridership is currently at approximately 12 percent of pre-pandemic levels and is not expected to return to levels anywhere close to normal until a safe, effective vaccine is widely available.”
On Friday, the board voted on moving forward with service cuts. New hours and reduced service schedules can be found here.