WMATA faces new budget woes
Last week the Washington Metro system averted service cutbacks to close a $40 million gap in its fiscal 2010 budget by enacting a 1--cent, across-the-board fare increase. No sooner had it done so, Greater Greater Washington reports, than its management released a fiscal 2011 budget showing a $190 million deficit -- along with a highly unpalatable menu of choices to close the gap.
One of the possibilities suggested is extracting a higher contribution from local jurisdictions -- including Maryland. That would be a tough sell in hard budget times even if it weren't an election year. Other alternatives include fare increases, service cuts and additional staff cuts.
My least favorite proposals: A doubling of the fare on the B30 bus between BWI and Greenbelt Metro to $6 and an increase in the annual cost of a bike locker from $70 to $200.