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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will seek public input at a meeting Thursday on a draft version of the proposed fiscal-year 2016 budget that calls for a fare increase and some service cuts.The agency faces difficult choices in balancing its budget next year due to a number of reasons, including a decline in rail ridership, WMATA officials said in the proposed budget document.The draft of the $1.8 billion operating budget — which would represent an increase of less than 4 percent compared with FY2015 — proposes a number of options to address financial challenges. The options include a 10-cent fare hike, increases in some rail-service wait times, elimination of late-night rail service and reductions in some bus services.Budget discussions will continue through March and April, with the board scheduled to adopt the final document in May. The public also may comment on the budget proposals on the agency's website.
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