Metro board advances fare hikes, route cuts
The Metro board finance committee voted to raise fares for bus and rail riders, reduce train frequencies and slash some bus routes, advancing the agency’s austerity budget to a final vote — but not before slipping in three last-minute amendments to preserve a slew of bus lines that were slated for cancellation or reduction.
Board members approved the $1.8 billion operating budget in the face of numerous concerns, chiefly: whether fare hikes and fewer trains would accelerate a ridership decline that has driven the nation’s second-busiest subway into financial distress.
Rush-hour rail fares would increase by a dime, with $2.25 as the new minimum and $6 as the maximum one-way fare. The plan increases off-peak rail and bus fares by 25 cents. The frequency of trains, most of which are scheduled to arrive at least every six minutes, would be reduced to every eight minutes, with more service in the system’s core.