Metro outlines service cuts for current year
Declining ridership and rising costs at WMATA have created a $40 million budget gap for FY2010, forcing a combination of service cuts and fare increases.
This $40 million is the deficit remaining for FY2010, the current fiscal year which ends June 30th. After that, there's still the $175 million gap for next year.
At yesterday's WMATA Board meeting, General Manager John Catoe outlined a proposal to plug the hole, including $4 million in service reductions on Metrobus and Metrorail. The Board will discuss the plan in a special meeting on January 7.
Here are the proposed cuts to Metrorail: (PDF)
- Reduce weekend service: Trains would come less frequently on Saturdays and Sundays. Saturday trains would be reduced from every 12 minutes to every 15 minutes during the day. Intervals would increase from 15 to 20 minutes for early morning and evening trains. Late night service on Saturdays would be reduced to one train every 30 minutes. On Sundays, trains would arrive every 20 minutes during the day, up from 15 now. Late nights on Sundays would see trains every 30 minutes. These reductions are expected to save $875,000 in FY10.
- Reduce midday and evening service: Train frequency would also decrease on weekdays during mid-day from every 12 minutes to 15 minutes. Late night trains would have headways increased from 20 to 30 minutes. Estimated cost savings are $1.1 million.
- Eliminate 8-car trains: This item would reduce peak period capacity by 7% and would utilize 58 fewer railcars. The Red, Orange, and Green lines currently have a few 8-car trains during rush hours. All other trains in the system today are 6-car trains. Eliminating 8-car trains would save $672,000 for FY10.
- Adjust holiday service: Metro hopes to adjust holiday schedules to better reflect ridership. These reductions would save about $35,000 annually.
- Reduce early morning service: Eliminating one round-trip each weekday morning between 6 and 6:30 would increase headways from 6 to 8 minutes. This would save $114,000 annually.
- Restructure Red Line service: In order to better match ridership and increased travel times on the Red Line, trains would operate every 6 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont and every 6 minutes between Shady Grove and Silver Spring during peak periods. Trains would no longer turn back at Grosvenor. Trains would come every 3 minutes between Shady Grove and Grosvenor, up from 5 minutes now, but between Grosvenor and Silver Spring they would come every 3 minutes, a reduction from every 2.5 minutes now. Service between Silver Spring and Glenmont would be reduced from every 5 minutes today to every 6 minutes under the proposed cuts. This restructuring would save an estimated $90,000 in FY10.
- Close mezzanines on weekends: Metro's proposal calls for closing 10 additional station mezzanines on weekends at stations with more than one entrance. Some stations already have closed entrances on weekends, including Farragut West (east), L'Enfant Plaza (east), and Judiciary Square (east). Closing the 10 additional mezzanines is expected to save $168,000 annually. The mezzanines in the proposal are Anacostia (north), Friendship Heights (south), King Street (north), L'Enfant Plaza (west), Navy Yard (east), New York Avenue (south), Shaw (south), Silver Spring (north), Stadium-Armory (north), and U Street (east).
- Close mezzanines weeknights: Metro would close the mezzanines at Friendship Heights (south), King Street (north), McPherson Square (west), Shaw (south), and Stadium-Armory (north) at 8 pm every weeknight to save an estimated $50,000 in FY10.
The Metrobus cuts (PDF) are:
- Increase headways to eliminate trips: Metro's proposal would increase headways on some bus lines enough to take one bus off the route. They do not outline specific bus lines, but expect this to save $698,000 in FY10.
- Eliminate route segments: Metro hopes to save $118,000 by eliminating bus service to underutilized segments of certain lines. Specific cuts have not been outlined.
- Restructure service: The proposal would save about $6,000 by streamlining service. Specifics have not been outlined.
- Eliminate bus stops: The proposal saves $261,000 by eliminating some bus stops. This will reduce bus trip time, although some riders will have to walk further to stops. They did not list the stops recommended for elimination.
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