From the WMATA website:
Metro will host a series of public meetings to encourage participation and dialogue regarding its FY2013 budget and fare proposal, Feb. 27 to March 7.
The proposed operating and capital budgets for the next fiscal year support the critical rebuilding of the Metro system, and improving safety and reliability. The budget also provides service enhancements such as additional rush hour rail service, improved escalator maintenance, enhanced bus corridor services, increased security and continued compliance with National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations.
Metro’s Board of Directors will host six public hearings in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia beginning Feb. 27, where members of the public may provide formal testimony regarding the budget and fare proposals. Preceding each of the formal public hearings, Metro will host an hour-long Open Forum with multimedia stations to engage stakeholders and solicit public input. The Open Forum will include a video presentation on Metro’s rebuilding program, tables staffed by senior Metrobus, Metrorail, MetroAccess, SmarTrip and police officials who will be available to talk with participants and answer individual questions, and a third station where computers will be made available to take an online survey regarding Metro’s priorities, as well as to submit written comments for the record.
The public hearing portion of the sessions will provide an opportunity for comment on the docket of budget actions. To review the docket, visit www.wmata.com/hearings. The open forums present an opportunity for members of the public to learn about Metro’s current work to improve service and provide comments and suggestions on any topic, including subjects that are not on the docket.
The Board is slated to act on the FY2013 budget in June, and any fare changes they adopt would take effect July 2012.
The operating budget of $1.6 billion includes a proposed $53 million (8%) increase in funding from the jurisdictions and $66 million in increased revenue from fares. The fare adjustments also are designed to simplify Metro’s fare structure and encourage the use of SmarTrip cards. The proposed $904 million capital budget includes projects that will advance NTSB recommendations, including signal system upgrades and replacement of Metro’s oldest railcars, the 1000-series fleet, with new 7000-series cars, as well as track and infrastructure projects and rehabilitation, and replacement of escalators and elevators across the system.
Details and directions for transit travel to the public sessions are available on Metro’s website. Open forums begin at 6 p.m., followed by the public hearings at 7 p.m.