According to this Adam Tuss story on WTOP, Metro is not looking at service cuts--yet. Last night the board held a meeting to discuss its $154 million budget shortfall. Here's the key quote:
"We are not talking about service reductions yet," Metro Board member Peter Benjamin said. "What we are doing is trying to find out how much might be needed, and see what other reductions might be made first so that we don't go out and say to the public that we need to make a change that we really don't need to make."
Say wha? Didn't Metro just spend the last couple of weeks getting everyone worked up over possible cuts? I guess the game plan was get everyone in a tizzy to rally support for the ailing mess of a transit system. That might work, but instead, we think it undermines broader support for WMATA in the long run, making Metro look repeatedly incompetent and mismanaged. It's especially dumb, we think, to play this strategy after almost non-stop boasting about how well the record inauguration crowds were handled.
According to The Washington Post story on last night's board meeting, "Metro staff workers have compiled a $325 million list of "shovel-ready" capital projects, including bus priority corridors, rail cars, buses and maintenance. Metro expects to make the list public next week at a regional transportation planning board meeting." This comes in anticipating of stimulus money the service could receive.
- Apparently Metro accessibility played a role in DC United deciding to put their new stadium in Md. as opposed to DC.
- Interesting GreaterGreater article on how contributions to employee pension funds make up a large chunk of Metro's budget gap. The site calls for Metro to be "prudent," a trait we've never seen from the service.
- Oh and most importantly, Metro has posted a new audiocast.