After recent fatal accident, Metro considering fare hike

Big changes may be on the way for Metro. The problem is the transit agency might end up taking more change out of your pocket and adding more time to your trip.

Over a week after the deadly accident at the L'Enfant Plaza, Metro is considering raising fares.

But the news is being met with an uproar from frustrated and fed up passengers.

If you needed all-time champion of bad timing, commuter Estar Marie will tell you to look no further than Metro.

Prices on Metro may go up. This 2016 budget released just a week after the fatal L'Enfant Plaza station accident calls for a fare hike. It would tack $0.10 onto your fare, but rake in $22 million for Metro.

Marie says it adds insult to injury.

"In the back of your head, you're looking around and you are like it could be somebody else, any minute, and that is not cool," she said.

It is not just fares Metro is thinking about raising, but wait times too. There is a proposal to increase wait times to six to eight minutes on peak hours, and up to 20 minutes during off-peak hours. Weekend service between midnight and 3 a.m. may be eliminated entirely.

"Every time they want to raise money, they do a fare increase, which reduces ridership," another Metro rider told us. "If they keep raising it, I'm going to have to drive to work."

And after what happened last week, passengers say Metro's timing could not be worse if it tried.

"Well I think it's a little ridiculous since it is unsafe and now you are trying to increase the price? It's a little ridiculous," one rider told us.

You are probably asking what Metro has to say about all this. Well, you are going to have to keep wondering. The transit agency says it is not doing any interviews on the proposals until they are formally introduced on Thursday.

Metro's board could ask local governments in Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia to fork over another $98 million for the coming budget year. So far though, that has been a non-starter meaning passengers may be stuck with the bill.

It is important to remember that Metro actually has two budgets: the capital budget, which funds construction and repairs, and the operation budget, which is used to run the system. This proposed fare hike would go to the operational budget.

It will be introduced Thursday to the Metro board, but it is already looking like a tough sell with no clear options to get around it.

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