- The Washington Times - Friday, December 4, 2020

Correction: This article has been corrected to report that Metro has notified state officials, not employees, about the possible layoffs.

Metro is gearing up to potentially lay off more than 1,000 employees next month.

The Washington-area transit agency has informed state officials in Maryland and Virginia that between 1,100 and 1,200 workers could be cut. 

The Maryland Work Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) notice filed last week states the job cuts could go into effect Jan. 23 and would affect employees in the District, Maryland and Virginia. Specifically mentioned are 11 of the agency’s locations in Prince George’s County and three in Montgomery County.

The Virginia WARN notice states 1,141 employees throughout Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Falls Church and Vienna may be let go.

The agency has not sent layoff notices to employees, Metro spokesman Ian Jannetta said in an email Friday.

Mr. Jannetta did not provide any detail regarding which jobs, facilities and locations might be affected.

The workforce reduction would be part of up to 2,400 layoffs that Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld says will be necessary to help address a nearly $495 million operating budget deficit in the fiscal year that starts in July. The agency employs more than 12,000 people.

Mr. Wiedefeld on Monday announced the agency’s $1.9 billion operating budget plan for fiscal 2022, which includes closing 19 subway stations, up to 30-minute wait times, no weekend rides and ending service two hours earlier at 9 p.m. daily. Several bus service lines would be cut and employees may be subject to salary freezes.

The shortfall is imminent without federal funds because of “constrained jurisdiction subsidies and ridership projected at 34% of pre-pandemic levels,” he said.


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