For immediate release: April 25, 2024

Metro Board approves $4.8B budget that maintains service, avoids drastic cuts thanks to additional investments from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

En Español

Today, Metro’s Board of Directors approved a $4.8 billion capital and operating budget which largely maintains bus and rail service levels when the new budget year begins on July 1. With investments from around the region, Metro will be able to continue to provide great transit service customers are familiar with today. 

Last year, Metro faced catastrophic cuts to service as we faced an unprecedented $750 million budget gap because of record inflation, more people working from home, and exhausting the last of the federal COVID relief funds for transit.  

Metro averted those cuts thanks to investments from our regional partners and sacrifices from many different parties: 

  • All three jurisdictions, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia each provided hundreds of millions of dollars of additional funding to help meet the fiscal year 2025 budget gap.  
  • Metro found $50 million in cost efficiencies.  
  • Customers will see a 12.5% fare increase, which keeps fares in line with inflation.

“We appreciate the collaboration of our regional partners on this board-approved budget that will keep our community moving,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke. “This region is a great place to live, work, and play, and our recent ridership reflects the vital role Metro plays in getting people where they need to go. Thank you to our Metro employees for their fantastic work to bring back our region’s confidence and trust.” 

“We want to thank our elected officials and jurisdictional partners for the historic commitments they have made to Metro and the region to keep Metro strong in the coming years,” said Metro Board Chair Paul C. Smedberg. “Over the next year, we’re looking forward to continuing a robust conversation with jurisdictional partners, elected officials, and business and community stakeholders around Metro’s role in the region and how the region can sustain and support the world-class transit that the DMV deserves. We also acknowledge that, while this budget maintains the frequent and reliable service our customers rely on, it asks for a shared sacrifice from our employees and customers to make it work. On behalf of the Board, we’re grateful for their continued support.” 

Metro will continue to deliver frequent all-day, all-week Metrorail service to drive ridership. Bus customers will see similar levels of service as this year. In the next fiscal year, Metro will begin to implement its Better Bus Network Redesign plan.  

Bus fares and base rail fares will increase from $2 to $2.25. The maximum rail fare will increase from $6 to $6.75. Late-night and weekend fares will rise from a flat $2 to a variable charge between $2.25 and $2.50 based on distance. MetroAccess fares will be capped at $4.50, up from $4. Pass products will also increase. Metro is also equipping bicycle lockers with an hourly rental feature, with a rate of 5 cents an hour, up to $1.00 per day. Parking fees will not change.  

The $2.3 billion capital budget invests in the system to modernize and provide safe, efficient, and reliable service for customers, employees, and the region by addressing a backlog of overdue state-of-good-repair needs and replacing aging equipment. The plan allocates money for purchasing 256 new 8000-series railcars, investing in more electric buses, replacing aging bus garages, maintaining track and vehicles, and working toward a modern automated train control signaling system.  

Metro’s fiscal year 2025 runs from July 1, 2024, to June 30, 2025. You can learn more about Metro’s approved budget here. 

Next fiscal year, Metro will face a similarly difficult budget without dedicated funding. Metro is the only major transit system in the country that does not have some form of predictable, sustainable funding.  

On May 1, Metro’s Board of Directors is meeting with the regional Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ board, made up of elected officials from across the region. At that meeting, they will discuss the vision for transit in the future and ways to fund that vision.