If you don’t have time to read, click here to sign Coalition for Smarter Growth’s petition to local government officials asking for more financial support for Metro.
We’ve recently discussed Metro’s funding shortfalls, in the current fiscal year (about $22M based on declining ridership and revenues), for next fiscal year (projected at about $100M due to high cost growth in Metroaccess and employee compensation, and a reduction in advertising revenues), and about $3B for the next 10-year capital funding cycle (where the needs include track maintenance, new storage and maintenance facilities, and new railcars/buses).
Coalition for Smarter Growth, a little organization (only five staff members) with a big impact, now has a petition to local elected officials to request that they fully fund Metro’s needs. Here’s the text of the petition:
“I urge you to commit to fully funding our region’s Metro System, which is the lifeblood of the Washington region. Our roads and transit systems depend on your leadership to maintain Metro as a world-class transit system.
1) Commit to providing Metro with sufficient annual operating funds.
2) Meet Metro’s needs for $11.4 Billion in capital improvements over the next ten years. This money should come from all levels of government — local, state, and federal.
This effort is crucial to keeping Metro operating. With the recent Board guidance to General Manager Catoe, he is required to propose enough cost reductions, including service cuts, to balance the budget for next year. The Board wants to consider only small inflationary fare increases and does not expect an increase in operating subsidy next year. With the two sources of revenue constrained, that could mean fairly substantial cuts in service. We need to ask our local elected leaders to make a commitment to Metro. Please sign the petition today.