The new D.C. Metro budget might bring unwanted changes if it is approved as the plans to eliminate deficit will most likely impact both the commuters and the system’s employees.
As the new Metro budget was announced this past Sunday, it has already begun generating debates as the deficit control plan seems to bring quite a few unwanted modifications.
Paul Wiedefeld, Metro’s General Manager, declared that the transit agency must come and face reality as its $290 million deficit has to be taken under control whilst also keeping in mind the public safety.
According to his declarations, the plan intends to cut back on the major expenses areas and categories whilst also ensuring a safe travel and also respecting the train schedules.
The new D.C. Metro budget plan could come to the proposed value of $1.8 billion, sum which would ensure train and track improvements, the key safety features, but could also come with unwanted expenses and other unpopular decisions.
As the agency is trying to balance its operating budget the plan, if approved, will come will an increase in the travel fares, a reduced number of employees, and possibly longer train waits.
The proposed 2018 Fiscal Year plan would feature some cutbacks in terms of both employee numbers and advantages.
A number of 1,000 positions would have to be cut back, which would include service workers, vehicle operators, and supervisors. The remaining employees could also face changes in their healthcare plans.
A number of other changes would directly impact the possible customers as both new fare prices and new waiting periods are to be expected.
The D.C. Metro would change its running times as, for example, during rush trains would arrive every 8 minutes instead of 6 as it is now. The off-peak times as early morning, midday, and weekends, could see a waiting period of 15 minutes between trains.
As Rush+ trains will be eliminated, the Blue Line riders would benefit of more frequent trains and see a reduction in the 12 minutes current duration.
The additional waiting times would also come with additional or increased fares. The Metrobus could raise to a $2 per trip from its current $1.75. Peak hours prices would also see an increase, as the fare could come to be of $2.25.
Off-peak period riders could pay an additional $2 price besides the existing distance-based taxes and the maximum fare price could raise to $6 from its $5.90 value.
If the proposed D.C. Metro Budget plan is approved in March 2017, its proposed changes would start being applied as soon as July 2017, and also mark the first fare increase since 2014.
As even some officials like Jack Evans, Metro Board Chair and D.C. Councilman, believe that these new changes will mostly come to inconvenience riders, not benefit them, it is yet to see if the D.C. Metro Budget plan will be approved in its current form or if it will face new changes.
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