The D.C. Council unanimously passed a resolution seeking for Metro to not permanently eliminate late-night train service on Tuesday.
Before it was passed, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld made a surprise visit to the Wilson Building Tuesday morning and had breakfast with council members. During the meal, the council members told Wiedefeld that they understood that time is needed to get maintenance done throughout the transit system, but cutting late-night service permanently, especially on the weekend, would hurt the economy in D.C. as well as in Maryland and Virginia.
Another big Metro issue that came out on Tuesday are two staff proposals that are raising eyebrows and will be discussed at a finance committee meeting. They show a $275 million shortfall for Metro and one scenario is suggesting to raise fares by 35 percent. But Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans is adamantly opposed to this.
“I’m against raising fares, I’m against cutting service and I’m against using capital dollars for operating expenses,” said Evans. “All are terrible financial approaches as well as others suggested by my colleagues like selling buildings. They are short-term fixes. Metro is in the trouble it is today because of short-term fixes. Look at a fare increase like a tax hike. You don’t raise taxes in a situation where the entity is in decline.
A new strict distracted driving measure has also been proposed and has the backing of D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson. The proposal would allow authorities to take away a person's license temporarily if he or she is caught in the District three times for distracted driving, such as using a phone behind the wheel without a hands-free device. However, the problem many have raised to this proposal is how this three-strike distracted driving rule would be enforced.