The Metro Board of Directors today voted to implement dramatic service cuts if federal funding isn’t available by the end of the year.
According to the board, they need to account for drastic losses of revenue brought on by service limitations that were implemented when the District, Maryland and Virginia fought to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
They say ridership and revenue dropped by as much as “90 percent on some lines.”
According to officials, they’ve been kept afloat by CARES Act funding.
"CARES Act funding has replaced fare revenue. If that funding isn't there after December, Metro will need to implement measures that hurt the region's economic recovery and adversely impact essential workers," said General Manager and CEO Paul J. Wiedefeld.
They say Metrorail trips account for 28 percent of their operating budget – and ridership on the Metrorail has dipped to 12 percent of what they had before the arrival of COVID-19 in March.
The cuts include:
- Reduced Metrorail service: Weekday train service every 6 minutes on the Red Line and every 12 minutes on the Blue, Orange, Green, Yellow, and Silver lines
- Reduced Metrorail hours: Close Metrorail at 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday (Friday and Saturday closure would remain 11 p.m.).
- Turnbacks: On weekdays, half of Red Line trains would operate between Grosvenor-Strathmore and Silver Spring only. All Yellow Line trains would operate between Huntington and Mt. Vernon Square only, seven days a week.
- Continue reduced Metrobus service levels and hours, instead of adding service in early 2021 as planned.