D.C. vows to block any Metro fare in­crease

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER - — Paul Dug­gan

D.C. rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Metro board vow that bus and subway fares will not in­crease next fis­cal year, say­ing they will veto any bud­get plan that in­cludes a price in­crease or ser­vice cut for com­muters.

With rev­enue de­clin­ing be­cause of fall­ing rid­er­ship, and with Mary­land and Vir­ginia of­fi­cials re­luc­tant to boost their financial con­tri­bu­tions to a tran­sit sys­tem plagued by safety and man­age­ment prob­lems, the Wash­ing­ton Metropoli­tan Area Tran­sit Author­ity’s financial staff has said that fare hikes might be nec­es­sary to bal­ance the next bud­get.

Metro’s bud­get staff is sched­uled to present a spend­ing plan to the board next month.

But the Dis­trict’s two vot­ing board mem­bers, D.C. Coun­cil mem­ber Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and busi­ness­man Cor­bett Price, said they will not sup­port rais­ing fares or cut­ting ser­vice un­der any cir­cum­stances for the fis­cal year that starts July 1.

Al­though the board has six other vot­ing mem­bers — two each rep­re­sent­ing Mary­land, Vir­ginia and the fed­eral gov­ern­ment — Evans and Price, who were ap­pointed to the board this year by D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), can to­gether ex­er­cise a rare “ju­ris­dic­tional veto” over any pro­posed ac­tion by the board.

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