Facing massive Budget Shortfall, Metro Releases Budget Proposal That Slashes Service and Increases Fares

Washington Metro released a proposed budget for its next fiscal year that, without additional contributions from Metro’s funding partners, would necessitate fare increases and drastic cuts to service and to Metro’s workforce, a worst-case scenario for the region’s economy, quality of life, and environment.

Metro faces a $750 million funding gap for Fiscal Year 2025, which begins July 1, 2024. The budget gap is a result of several factors, including lower ridership revenue that is still recovering from the pandemic, the depletion of federal pandemic relief funds, a subsidy credit provided to jurisdictions in 2020, and historic inflation.Metro is unique among transit agencies in the United States in that it was structured without any independent funding and is legally required to pass a balanced budget every year. Despite an exhaustive effort to find internal savings, including $95 million in one-time savings carried over from FY24, $50 million in recurring annual savings and efficiencies, and a hiring and salary freeze, closing a gap of this size to pass a legally-required balanced budget requires drastically reducing rail, bus, and paratransit service, increasing fares, slashing Metro’s workforce, and deferring maintenance and modernization projects, ultimately making the system less safe and reliable. 

Beginning in January, Metro will implement a hiring freeze, eliminate wage and salary increases, and issue legally required layoff notices to portions of its workforce alerting them to the potential of layoffs next summer if additional funding is not provided. Due to workforce attrition, customers could see degraded service as early as late winter or early spring. 

Other proposals include:



  • System closure at 10 p.m., seven days a week 
  • Close 10 low-ridership stations 
  • Red Line turn-backs at Grosvenor-Strathmore and Silver Spring stations, reducing train frequencies for end-of-line stations
  • Silver Line turn-back at Stadium-Armory with Silver Line service between Ashburn and Stadium-Armory only, reducing train frequencies to Downtown Largo
  • Decreased service on all Metrorail lines: Reduce the number of trips with 6 minutes or better service from 81 percent in FY24 to 10 percent in FY25

-via Press Release

This article was posted on: December 20, 2023