Get Metro a fair share
A coalition of transit groups have just created FairShareMetro.com to ask local governments to increase their contributions to WMATA and share cost of transit with riders.
If local governments collectively contributed $73.7 million, we could balance the WMATA budget without painful service cuts such as no 8-car trains at rush hours, no Yellow Line on weekends, earlier closings, later openings, and truncated or eliminated bus routes.
Farfax County supervisors will be voting on maximum tax and fee rates tomorrow, and Alexandria is having a budget hearing on Wednesday. If you live in Fairfax or Alexandria, it's especially urgent to email your elected officials at FairShareMetro.com right away. But it's also critical to get lots of comments in to the DC Council, Maryland state officials (in Maryland, the state funds WMATA rather than the counties), and officials in Arlington, Falls Church, and Fairfax City.
The Riders' Advisory Council wrote in a letter they approved on Wednesday,
As we saw in the immediate aftermath of the recent snowstorm, our region depends on effective transit service. Without it, people cannot reach their jobs and our economy cannot function.
Transit benefits far more than just the individuals who ride it. Transit takes cars off the roadways to keep traffic congestion down. It enables more jobs in our employment centers than we could accommodate with just roads and parking. It connects many employees who do not or cannot drive to jobs that keep our region and its economy operating. It brings people to shopping centers, cultural destinations, medical appointments and more.Please go to FairShareMetro.com now and ask your representatives to support a fair share for Metro.
Under the proposed budget, transit riders are expected to shoulder most of the burden of WMATA's $189.2 million gap. The current proposed budget calls for nearly half of that ($89.2 million) to be covered with a massive fare increase, plus cuts to administration that will impact customer service, reliability, communications and more. However, all residents of our region
— whether they ride Metro or not — should share in the responsibility to keep transit running as they all share in the benefit.
We realize that you are facing historic budget deficits yourselves and face painful cuts in many areas. However, the loss of important transit service outlined in the current proposed budget would further burden congested roadways and inhibit further job growth. Those costs cannot be ignored. Riders are willing to accept higher fares for their part, but are understandably unwilling to accept significantly higher fares coupled with reduced service. We ask you to share the responsibility by finding revenues or other room in the budget to maintain transit service.
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