No surprise in that headline. Last night’s finance committee meeting had Carol Kissal, WMATA’s CFO, telling the board that if there is no upswing in ridership by the end of the year, that $22.4 million budget gap could get bigger. Her estimate so far is based on July and August ridership levels.
Interestingly, Kissal blamed ridership decline on higher unemployment, lower gas prices and the June Red Line crash. Maybe so, but those are “dodge” excuses, really. What about abysmal customer service, long rail delays on OTHER lines, a creepily-high incidental death rate, non-explanatory e-alerts, bus drivers hitting people and a really, REALLY bad PR image at the moment?
And more unsurprisingly, GM John Catoe “has a plan.” Of course he does. He’s John-freaking-Catoe. What the man says, goes. Even if he doesn’t tell everyone else!
Seriously though, looks like Metro’s threatening fare hikes next year, unless we all suck it up and ride.