Metro announced it has opened a public comment period so riders can voice their feelings about service cuts, reduced hours, furloughed staff and other reductions as federal funding for the transit service runs out.
Metro said because of reduced ridership during the pandemic — along with severely reduced service during the months of April and May — the transit agency relied heavily on funds provided under the CARES Act — but that money is set to run out by the end of the year.
As a result, Metro said it will have to cut $200 million from its annual operating budget. The agency has outlined service cuts, reduced hours, layoffs, furloughs and internal cost-costing as measures they can take to meet the budget shortfall.
Metro is asking riders who will be impacted by these cuts to leave a comment on their website, record a statement by voicemail, submit an audio file via email or send in a selfie video expressing their feelings about the proposed cuts.
Those who wish to mail in a statement can send it to the Office of the Board Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 5th St., NW, Washington, D.C., 20001.
There will also be a virtual public hearing on Oct. 13, at 3 p.m. held on Zoom. Those who wish to participate must sign up on Metro’s website by 12 p.m. on Oct. 13.
All responses must be received by 9 a.m. on Oct. 19, for Metro to consider them.