Metro to vote on new budget, may have to make changes in light of pandemic

Virginia

“The world has changed since we started this process."

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WDVM) — As the pandemic is affecting ridership numbers, Metro’s Board of Directors may have to reconsider some items in its FY2021 budget.

On Thursday, the board will consider increasing its fares during peak hours for the first time in three years — and a flat fare of $2 on the weekends. The proposed budget also reduces the cost of a 7-day regional bus pass.

But Metro says it had prepared for funds and growing ridership it was achieving before the pandemic began. Board Chairman Paul Smedburg says the board expects to review the budget again before the fiscal year starts on July 1. 

“The world has changed since we started this process. This draft budget positions Metro for recovery, and for a day when it is safe for our customers to return and we have demand for more service,” Smedburg said in a press release. “In passing a budget, we recognize that we may need to revisit the timing of some initiatives based on the economic realities we face in the wake of the pandemic.”

The board is also considering extending its late-night Metrorail hours on July 1. 

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