- The Washington Times - Friday, March 5, 2021

The Metro Board of Directors is set to hold the first virtual public hearings next week on a proposal to make historic pandemic-related service cuts to address a nearly $495 million budget shortfall.

The first of four hearings during the week is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. 

People will be able to weigh in on General Manager Paul Wiedefeld’s $1.9 billion operational budget plan for fiscal 2022 which includes terminating weekend train rides, closing nearly 20 subway stations and shorter service hours.

The plan projects $264 million in revenue due to ridership dropping 90% on trains and 60% on buses amid coronavirus fears.

The agency is set to vote proposed changes this month and if passed, they will go into effect in January of 2022 absent additional federal funding.

Metro‘s annual financial report for fiscal 2020, which ended in June, was about $3.8 billion, which included $1.9 billion for operations, $1.8 billion for capital improvement and $72 million for debt service.

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