Please Give Us Feedback on Next Year’s Budget

April 2nd, 2015

We’re not raising fares or cutting service in next year’s budget, but we are still proposing some changes – and we’d love to hear from you.

Take SurveyTo balance Metro’s budget for the coming year, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia governments have pledged to increase their funding for Metro, while Metro continues to take actions to cut costs and operate more efficiently. We are still considering the following options that may impact you:

  • Increase the daily parking fee at Minnesota Ave. station to the same price as all other Metro parking facilities in the District ($4.60).
  • Extend the hours we collect parking fees at Metrorail stations by one hour in both the morning and evening on weekdays.
  • Eliminate the TransitLink Card (TLC) pass – one of the few remaining paper farecard products in the Metrorail system.

We need to hear from you – tell us how these proposals would affect you:

  • TAKE AN ONLINE SURVEYComplete the survey to provide your feedback before 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 13.
  • ATTEND THE PUBLIC HEARING on Tuesday, April 7 at 6:30 p.m. (Information session at 6:00 p.m.).  Register to speak by emailing

Metro Headquarters (Jackson Graham Building) 600 5th St NW, Washington DC 20001

Take Metrorail: Gallery Place or Judiciary Sq

Take Metrobus: 70, 74, 79, 80, D6,  P6,  X2, X9

The public hearing location is wheelchair accessible. For accommodations for people with disabilities, call (202) 962-2511. For language assistance, such as an interpreter or information in another language, please call 202-962-2582 at least 48 hours prior to the public hearing date.

 Public comments will be considered by the WMATA Board of Directors when adopting the final Fiscal Year 2016 budget plan.

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  1. Michael P
    April 3rd, 2015 at 10:26 | #1

    Eliminate the transitlink farecard but reinstate it as a product available on Smartrip.

    Review parking occupancy data at all lots and garages, and implement the policy that lots/garages with greater than 100% occupancy will be raised a quarter per day, and lots/garages with less than 75% occupancy will be lowered a quarter per day.

    Next time the bus and rail fares are raised, also increase the bus-to-rail transfer discount by double the amount of the increase, so that transfer trips are not unfairly penalized.

    Take a better look at whether unlimited transit passes can be used to stabilize Metro’s revenue and encourage more people to live car-light or car-free.

  2. Michael P
    April 3rd, 2015 at 10:28 | #2

    When Metro plans weekend or off-peak work that removes a part of the system from service, how much staging do you do to make sure work can proceed efficiently once the system is taken down? Are all tools and equipment collected in kits, with all maintenance procedures reviewed and practiced before hand?

    Do you track when equipment fails soon after it is worked on, what led to the failure and how to improve performance for the future?

  3. Matt Dickens
    April 3rd, 2015 at 11:29 | #3

    Surveys are great, but the question about the CIP is unnecessarily vague. You ask:

    “How do you feel about each of the proposed changes?”
    “Proposed FY2016 Capital Improvement Program and FY2015 Grant Applications.”

    The description under the question mark, and the rest of the survey, says absolutely nothing about what is actually changing about the CIP or the grant applications. It’s not even listed as a bullet point in this article. How am I supposed to make a value judgement on it?

  4. Matt Dickens
    April 3rd, 2015 at 11:40 | #4

    I’m not even sure why the TLC has to be added as a new fare product on SmarTrip. There is already a monthly unlimited pass on smartrip, just incorporate that with a special price if purchased with MARC monthly passes.

  5. Michael P
    April 3rd, 2015 at 12:59 | #5

    TLC = About $110 with purchase of MTA Maryland monthly pass, works on Metrorail, Metrobus, all MTA transit systems including Baltimore, .

    Monthly unlimited pass on smartrip = Over $230, works only on Metrorail, requires full fare rather than transfer fare on Metrobus.

    One of these is clearly better.

  6. Peter H
    April 3rd, 2015 at 13:37 | #6

    So, is the TLC the only thing really driving paper fare card collection capability? If so, this should be a “do it now” initiative to fix, and paper fares and the maintenance of that expensive infrastructure should go away ASAP. I can’t imagine the surcharge tourists and infrequent visitors incur by not buying a SmarTrip covers it. Paper fares also massively slow down fare gate throughput during large public events, creating crowding and safety hazards.

    Also, the lack of even studying staffing and labor policies is troubling. For argument’s sake, even if reforms in this area are unneeded and/or wouldn’t realize savings, an external, impartial public review would go a long way toward transparency and public trust.

  7. Mike B
    April 6th, 2015 at 13:24 | #7

    Instead of either cutting services or raising fares, how about looking *internally* on cost savings? Many people don’t know that WMATA is self insured. This means that everyone on disability is paid through a fund established within WMATA. WMATA has so many people out on workmans comp that a significant portion of their budget is set aside just to pay it. Pay an independent firm to do a top to bottom investigation of those filing workmans comp to find those that are committing fraud. It’s so bad in WMATA that no insurance company will touch them. I’m willing to bet there are many MANY people on WC that have made it a second career. Maybe even entire families. Launch an investigation on the doctors that falsify documents to justify people being on WC. The whole system is raping the tax payer for millions..maybe more. What would be interesting to know (and WMATA will refuse to answer), is what the percentage of the total work force that is drawing workmans compensation? There’s a reason they don’t want anyone to know. The numbers will be staggering.

  8. May 3rd, 2015 at 15:36 | #8

    Simple fix for TLC: Put monthly stickers on a SmarTrip card. Problem solved.

  9. Tom W
    June 2nd, 2015 at 15:30 | #9

    I’m one of the people who uses the TLC and I’d be really inconvenienced and upset if it went away with no replacement. I think the paper cards are stupid, but can’t believe the excuses I’ve heard as to why they can’t continue the program itself! (Most of it revolves around the idea that the existing metropass wasn’t designed to support storing the necessary extra info needed to verify a current pass was purchased for the MARC and the proper stations a rider paid for as the points of entry/exit.) To that, I say, “Come on! You can’t fathom a way to address that simple issue?!” Like Chuck Coleman said, a solution as low-tech as affixing a monthly sticker to the pass would do. IMO, a better way would be selling TLC customers a special version of the metropass that has RFID built in. (Since the TLC isn’t dispensed at normal kiosks anyway and is usually mailed to purchasers, why not charge a one-time fee to issue the special RFID enabled pass?) Then, train conductors could check the tickets with an electronic reader without people even having to take the passes out of their wallets or purses.

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