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Has Metro’s ridership turnaround arrived? Not yet, budget staff says

Metro officials are forecasting decreases in ridership and revenue next year, and officials are poring over the system’s recent performance statistics for clues as to where to focus their efforts to curb the drop-off.

The projections for the coming budget, presented at Thursday’s meeting of the Metro board finance committee, offered a less heartening picture than many board members had hoped. Budget staff members anticipate a 2.6 percent reduction — $20 million — in revenue from passenger trips in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The ridership drop appears most dramatic for the system’s bus network. While rail ridership in the first half of this fiscal year has increased slightly from the year before, bus ridership has fallen 8 percent.

The projected revenue decline puts more pressure on local jurisdictions to come up with the 3 percent increase in operating subsidies that General Manager Paul J. Wiedefeld has requested, and for D.C., Maryland and Virginia to identify a source of long-term funding for the transit agency.

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London, ON, Canada

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