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WMATA set to approve FY2021 budget

WMATA's board expects to review the budget prior to the start of the fiscal year in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo – WMATA Facebook


Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's (WMATA) board on April 2 will vote on the agency’s fiscal-year 2021 budget, which proposes expanded rail service hours and fare adjustments.

The board will vote on fare and service changes for its Metrorail system including:

  • an increase to peak fares for the first time in three years;
  • establishment of a $2 weekend flat fare;
  • extended late-night service hours; and
  • a larger discount on bus-to-rail transfers.

The draft budget takes into consideration more than 17,000 comments and survey responses received during a public input period, which closed March 9.

The board also will take up a six-year, $9.7 billion capital improvement plan, with investments totaling $1.8 billion in FY2021.

In response to evolving effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the board expects to review the budget prior to the start of the fiscal year on July 1.

“The world has changed since we started this process. This draft budget positions [WMATA] for recovery, and for a day when it is safe for our customers to return and we have demand for more service,” said Chairman Paul Smedberg in a press release. “In passing a budget, we recognize that we may need to revisit the timing of some initiatives based on the economic realities we face in the wake of the pandemic.”

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/31/2020