>According to the budget approved yesterday (PDF – see attachment B), WMATA is relying on $35.8 million dollars collected in the first half of 2008 to balance the budget for fiscal year 2009 (July 2009-July 2010).
Unfortunately, that same idea won’t be able to help balance the 2010 budget. The jurisdictions are going to either accept another 6.7% increase in their subsidy next year, during the current troubled economic times, and in addition to their normal subsidy increase that occurs in a typical budget year (around 5-6%), or there will be another fare increase for FY 2010. If the revenue shortfall is on the order of $35.8 million, it should be smaller than the January 2008 increase (around $100 million).
The current record Metrorail ridership numbers (every working day for the past week has broken a top 10 number) will likely convince the WMATA board that increasing fares will not cause Metrorail riders to flee.
FY 2009 Budget Cost Recovery Ratios*:
Metrorail 84% (up from 79%)
Metrobus 30% (down from 32%)
Metroaccess 6% (up from 5%)
Overall 60% (up from 57%)
*Cost recovery ratio = operating revenues (fares, parking, advertising, etc.) / expenses (salaries, fuel, maintenance)