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WMATA proposes FY2005 fare increase

At the start of fiscal-year 2004, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) implemented its first fare increase in eight years. With a $23.4 million FY2005 operating budget deficit looming, the authority now is proposing another fare increase.

The authority’s budget committee recently approved raising the basic fare from $1.20 to $1.35; maximum peak-period fares from $3.60 to $3.90; and off-peak fares from $1.20, $1.70 and $2.20 to $1.35, $1.85 and $2.35, respectively. The committee also approved a 75-cent parking fee increase.

The proposed changes would generate $28.9 million in revenue. The remaining $5.5 million would help fund continued service between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and the reallocation of passenger cars to the Blue, Orange and Green lines, as well as reduce local government subsidies.

The budget will be distributed to local jurisdictions for review. The full board will vote on the budget at its June meeting. If approved, the budget and fare increases would take effect June 28.

In addition, the board will hold public hearings in June to gather input on a plan to charge peak fares for late-night passengers.

WMATA also approved new advertising initiatives that are expected to generate $340,000 in FY2005 revenue. The initiatives include wrapping cars and buses with advertising, placing ads in tunnels, and installing ATMs in Metrorail stations, and soundless video monitors in cars and buses.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/5/2004