Maryland moves slightly on operating funds, but plans more bus cuts for Prince George's
Maryland's WMATA board members announced April 22 that the state would meet its proposed contribution requirement of $13.9 million in GM Richard Sarles proposed budget through a combination of increased funds, possible local revenue and likely bus service reductions within Maryland.
PRISCM rally for transit at Addison Road Metro.
The announcement at the WMATA board meeting followed a rally last Tuesday at Addison Road Metro station that drew nearly 200 people from churches, labor unions and transit advocacy groups. Speakers, songs and prayers called for Gov. Martin O'Malley to provide funds to stop service cuts and excessive fare increases. Elected officials and candidates from throughout Prince George's County also attended.
Both WMATA board members Peter Benjamin and Elizabeth Hewlett couched their words carefully when they spoke at the Board meeting. They said there were no final figures or plan, and stressed that no local funds had yet been committed. Maryland has $3.5 million budgeted for WMATA beyond what former GM John Catoe had requested, leaving about $10.4 million still to find in the budget.
Currently, the state government pays all of Maryland's share of WMATA bus service. Having ny funds for Metrobus service come from Prince George's County would represent at least a temporary shift of some costs to the county.
The WMATA jurisdictional coordinating committee has a documents listing Maryland's preferences on cutting bus service to meet subsidy needs. The state has identified about $3.8 million in subsidy reduction as a result of potential bus cuts, ranking them in priority order of 1-4. Since some of the cuts couldn't go into effect until September or later, the maximum possible subsidy savings would be appreciably less than the full $3.8 million.
|1||A12||Widen AM rush and convert 3 late weekday trips to Friday only.||Rush||Wk||June||$120,267|
|1||B24||Eliminate trip leaving Bowie P&R for New Carrollton at 7:54 pm.||Non||Wk||Sept||$12,800|
|1||C11||Eliminate trip leaving Branch Ave for Clinton at 7:15 pm.||Rush||Wk||June||$16,358|
|1||C22/26||Eliminate 2 late trips.||Non||Wk||Sept||$39,167|
|1||C4||Change trip leaving Twinbrook for PG Plaza at 12:49 am to Friday only.||Rush||Wk||June||$13,017|
|1||D12,D14||Eliminate 3 early and 1 late trips.||Rush||Wk, Sa||June||$25,613|
|1||F12||Eliminate 3 late trips.||Non||Wk||Sept||$39,679|
|1||F13||Eliminate trip leaving New Carrollton for Wash. Business Park at 7:57 pm.||Non||Wk||Sept||$0|
|1||F2||Eliminate 1 early and 1 late trip.||Rush||Wk, Sa||June||$19,873|
|1||H12,13||Eliminate 3 late trips.||Rush||Wk||June||$26,639|
|1||J1,2||Convert 1 J2 trip to Friday only. Eliminate 7 late J2 trips.||Rush||Wk, Sa, Su||Sept||$40,095|
|1||J11,12||Widen rush. Eliminate 4 late trips.||Non||Wk, Sa, Su||Sept||$82,941|
|1||J4||Eliminate trip leaving College Park for Bethesda at 6:37 pm.||Rush||Wk||June||$12,680|
|1||K11/12/13||Eliminate 3 early trips and 2 late trips.||Rush||Wk, Su||June||$37,860|
|1||K6||Convert 2 late weekday trips to Friday only. Eliminate 2 late trips.||Rush||Wk, Su||Sept||$32,116|
|1||P12||Eliminate trip leaving Eastover for Addison Rd at 12:10 am.||Rush||Wk||June||$25,786|
|1||R2||Eliminate 2 early trips.||Rush||Sa, Su||June||$4,197|
|1||R4||Eliminate 3 early trips and 2 late trips.||Non||Wk, Sa, Su||Sept||$13,046|
|1||T2||Eliminate trip leaving Friendship Hts. for Rockville at 10:51 PM.||Non||Wk||June||$12,850|
|2||V12||Eliminate 1 early and 1 late trip.||Rush||Wk, Su||June||$19,869|
|2||V14/15||Eliminate 3 early and 3 late trips.||Non||Wk, Sa, Su||Sept||$34,048|
|2||Y9||Eliminate 4 late trips.||Rush||Su||June||$12,508|
|3||C12,C14||Eliminate all service. Divert H11/12 via Carriage Hill.||Rush||Wk, Sa||Sept||$872,391|
|4||P17/18/19; W13/14||Reroute to Southern Ave. or Branch Ave.||Rush||Wk||Later||$742,428|
|4||B27||Eliminate all service.||Non||Wk||Later||$348,665|
|4||B29,B31||Eliminate all service.||Non||Wk||Sept||$323,321|
|4||C4, C2, J5||Eliminate C4 and late-night C2 trips Wheaton to Twinbrook, reroute J5.||Rush||Wk, Sa, Su||Later||$1,007,566|
These proposed cuts are mainly concentrated in Prince George's County. Only the J1/2, T2, Y9 and the C4 reductions are solely within Montgomery County. The rest are either bi-county or Prince George's only. Some of the potential cuts are on major bus lines such as the A12, C2, C4, C22/26, D12/14, J1/2, K6, P12, R2, Y9. Some proposals cut bus lines altogether for some communities like the B27, B29/31 or truncate the line in the case of the P17/18/19. Seventeen of twenty-nine proposed cuts are targeted at regional routes.
The amounts of money that will be generated in FY11 from implementing some or all of these proposed bus cuts would be fairly small in the bigger picture. If all the cuts were made to a tune of $3.8 million in annual subsidy savings, only about $2.5 million could be realized in FY11. Maryland should find a way to fund its subsidy without cutting bus service that is vital to many throughout the region.
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