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Metro numbers stabilize though revenue is down

  • Published in Local

metro logoMetro is behind in terms of the money that comes in from Metrorail and Metrobus fares, despite the increased cost of fares, because fewer people are riding the bus.

Metro Board Finance and Budget Committee chairman Michael Goldman, who represents Montgomery County, said the statistics in the report from staff to the committee this week might confuse riders.

“They had projected an increase in rail ridership in 2018 compared to 2017,” Goldman said. “That growth in rail ridership never materialized.”

Metro officials received less revenue from fares, including bus, rail and MetroAccess than expected.

Metrobus ridership is lower than in last fiscal year. “That’s not true for rail,” Goldman said. “Rail is roughly – compared to the same month[s] of 2017 – maybe stable or just down a percentage.”

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Metro mulls refund policy

  • Published in Local

metro logoWASHINGTON D.C. — A proposal to refund Metro passengers for late trains during rush hour moved one step closer to becoming a reality last Thursday after a Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Administration committee unanimously approved a plan that would refund passengers for trains that are late by 15 minutes or more during rush hour service. 

The unanimous recommendation by Metro’s Safety and Service Delivery Committee’s during its Jan. 11 meeting brings the plan one step closer to final approval, and needs only the full WMATA board's approval before going into effect, which WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said could happen as early as Jan. 26.

“We know we still need to earn back their confidence,” explained Assistant GM Lynn Bowersox.

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Metro cutting negative SmarTrip balances

  • Published in Local

WMATA metro logoStarting Monday, Jan. 8, Metro riders will no longer be permitted to have a negative balance on their SmarTrip cards after entering or leaving a station or bus with slightly less than the required fare.

WMATA Chief Financial Officer Dennis Anosike said that fare gates and bus fare boxes would stop allowing negative balances because the unpaid negative fares are costing Metro too much potential revenue. 

"In an environment where every dollar counts, we are taking a common sense approach to ensure that Metro is properly collecting the value of the transportation it provides to reduce the demand on Metro customers and the region for additional funding," Anosike said on Nov. 24.

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Metro union calls for increased police presence after bus driver’s recent assault

  • Published in Local

Metro union president press conference 9 1 17Metro Union Local 689 President Jackie Jeter asks Metro leadership to increase police presence on more bus routes Friday.   PHOTO BY KATHLEEN STUBBS  A Metro union president said she continues to call for more police officers on buses after a passenger threw a cup of urine on a bus driver.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 President Jackie Jeter said she has been urgently requesting police officers on more Metro buses since she took a leadership position for the union 10 years ago.

She said during a press conference at Minnesota Avenue Station Friday at least one driver for the X2 bus route, on which the urine incident occurred a few days ago, requested a supervisor or police officer ride on board with them for protection. Jeter then said a male bus driver left Minnesota Avenue Station in tears early Friday after a supervisor ordered him to complete the route without the protection he requested.

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Local artist sees Metro riders as zombies

Eric Gordon Zombie 1Eric Gordon with one of his paintings. PHOTO BY MARK POETKER  

TAKOMA PARK – Local artist Eric Gordon said he sees a semblance of zombies, or what he likes to call “creeps,” in riders of the D.C. Metro and he sketches them when he uses public transit.

Gordon said he couldn’t take full credit for the idea of depicting riders as akin to zombies or creeps.

“I think that’s not my theory. It’s the morning, nine to five, daily grind, people going to their daily jobs,” said Gordon. “A lot of times people would much rather go to the beach or have a cup of tea, stay at home, do something like that.”

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Metro GM concedes problems but has hope

  • Published in Local

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WASHINGTON – Metro needs to focus more on maintenance of Metrorail and Metrobus and less on expanding them, according to the mass transit organization’s general manager.

After a few months on the job, Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said he was concerned about instruction on the region’s largest commuter rail service.

“It’s much worse than I expected,” he said Monday at the National Press Club.

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Metro suspends weekend service

  • Published in Local

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WASHINGTON — Metro’s general manager announced at headquarters Thursday some services changes for rail, bus and MetroAccess for Friday and suspension of all services Saturday and Sunday until further notice.

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