Metro committee agrees to send new budget for public comment

A Metro committee has agreed to send the 2022 budget for public comment. It avoids major cuts, but members said that’s temporary if more help doesn’t come soon.

Metro’s 2021 budget, which was approved, prevents deep service cuts and saves jobs thanks to an expected federal funding boost of around $610 million.

But committee members said there could still be massive rail service cuts in January 2022 if finances don’t improve.

“We have to plan for the worst. Public input is going to be really important to me,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater. “I’m hopeful for additional relief, but if it doesn’t come, I do have concerns about the impacts for our riders.”

The newly approved 2021 amended budget expands Metrobus service, up to 82% of pre-pandemic levels in May.

The budget also saves 1,200 full-time jobs from being eliminated in February.

But for FY2022, Metro service could be reduced to 30% of pre-pandemic service for the last six months of FY2022 to close the remaining funding gap, according to Metro board documents.

These include:

  • Reduced service span 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days per week
  • 30-minute headways on Blue/Orange/Green/Yellow/Silver lines, and 15-minute on Red Line
  • Yellow Line and Red Line Turnbacks
  • Closure of 22 Stations

Metro said the cuts would result in a net savings of $69.4 million for six months.

Public input for the revised budget, with the coronavirus relief funding included, will take place in February, with the budget’s final approval coming in April.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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