Use rosier Metro outlook to reduce fare hike
The Transit First coalition, representing Metro riders, labor, environmental, and community groups, called on Metro and the local governments that help fund it to use the entire $16 million savings in the improved budget outlook to roll back proposed fare increases. Their statement is below:
Under a proposal submitted yesterday to Metro's finance committee by General Manager Richard Sarles, only $10 million of the $16 million savings would go to riders. Government support of Metro would be cut back by $6 million from the previous budget plan.
In light of the improved Metro budget forecast, we call on the Metro board and member governments to match the riders' commitment to better transit service. Metro riders have continued to pay more for service, even while enduring service interruptions and breakdowns. The original budget plan allocated a greater burden to riders to make up for the budget gap.
Now that the revenue outlook has improved, the riders should get a break on the fare increases they are facing. Transit riders have paid a significant share of the increases in transportation costs for twenty years during which fares have steadily risen without a single increase in the gas tax.
Fixing Metro will be impossible without adequate resources. Riders stepped up to the plate in 2010 to pay a substantial fare increase. The fairest approach now is for the member jurisdictions to maintain the funding commitment already planned in the 2013 Metro budget. We call on local governments, the District of Columbia, and the states of Maryland and Virginia to focus on reinvesting in and restoring what was once, and can be again, one of the world's top transit systems.
The members of the Transit First Coalition are the Action Committee for Transit, Alexandria Transit Riders Alliance, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689, Arlington Coalition for Sensible Transportation, Audubon Naturalist Society, CASA de Maryland, Clean Water Action, Coalition for Smarter Growth, Crofton First, DC Night Riders, Greater Greater Washington, MCGEO
The Coalition for Smarter Growth has a page for you to email your WMATA board members and local officials to ask them to use money to reduce fare increases as much as possible.
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