Metro could increase rail, bus fares to offset growing budget

The transit agency could delay projects, such as escalator maintenance, to balance the budget. (WTOP Photo/Kristi King)

WASHINGTON — As Metro’s budget continues to expand, so could the financial burden on passengers.

Fares on the Metro system could rise as much as 10 percent for rail and buses, The Washington Examiner‘s Kytja Weir reports. The transit system is allowed to raise fares every two years, so the increase could take effect as early as next July.

The price hikes are tied to the Consumer Price Index, which Metro says will call for a 5.7 percent increase in the next budget.

But passing the buck on to rail and bus riders is not the only option, the Examiner reports. The D.C., Maryland and Virginia governments could raise their contributions, or Metro could cut back service.

The agency also could delay new projects that would beef up the escalator maintenance program.

Recommendations on amending the Metro budget from Metro’s general manager are expected in January.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this report. Follow Kristi and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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