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Metro: Federal aid will likely prevent drastic budget cuts, layoffs

Metro is expected to receive $610 million in federal Covid stimulus relief. Officials say that will spare some service cuts and layoffs.

WASHINGTON — Metro is expected to receive approximately $610 million in federal COVID relief funding. It is in the process of finalizing its budget, but according to officials, that federal aid would avoid planned budget-related layoff and drastic service cuts through June 30th. Those proposed cuts included drastically reducing weekday service, and cutting weekend services completely. 

RELATED: Metro considers closing 19 stations, slashing weekend service due to 'historic operating budget crisis'

"Thanks to the leadership of the regional Congressional delegation and Senator Warner, we will be able to keep transit employees working, providing essential service to customers in the national capital region through June 30th," said WMATA Board of Directors Chair Paul C. Smedberg. "However, we will need additional federal relief to avoid service reductions next fiscal year as the region stabilizes."

The Board is set to consider revising the budget at its finance meeting this week. During that meeting, General Manager Paul Widefeld will also present new estimates for the new fiscal year, which starts in July. 

RELATED: COVID federal relief package could help Metro's budget crisis

Officials say the Board will still have to potentially consider cuts, although they will be less drastic than what had been previously proposed. 

"We are far from out of the woods, without sufficient revenue to cover all of next fiscal year. While the choices may not be quite as severe, there is still enormous financial pressure on our funding jurisdictions, and ridership and revenue is likely to return very gradually, so we have tough choices still ahead," said Wiedefeld. 

  

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