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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) board yesterday decided not to implement fare increases and make substantial cuts in rail or bus service as it prepares to adopt a fiscal-year 2016 budget.The board considers fare increases every two years, and had been considering implementing a 10-cent increase on rail and bus fares this year. Additionally, the board was considering options such as the elimination of late-night rail service and reductions in some bus service."While the final budget vote will come in the spring, the board's action [yesterday] reflects a continued commitment to further reduce administrative costs and reprogram money from non-safety programs, and signals continued support from our jurisdictional funding partners to help balance the budget and continue our standing fare and service policies," WMATA Chairman Mort Downey said in a press release.The board is scheduled to adopt the final budget document in May. An earlier draft proposed a $1.8 billion operating budget for the next fiscal year.Also, the board's search for a new general manager and chief executive officer is ongoing, Downey said. Jack Requa will continue to serve as interim GM until a new candidate is hired. The position has remained open since GM and CEO Richard Sarles retired last month.
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