Digest: Stimulus money should allow DC Metro to avoid service cuts, layoffs

News Wire Digest for Jan. 11: San Diego agencies look at fare increases, new fare card system; Jefferson City, Mo., gets more time to find home for Amtrak station
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WMATA

Monday morning rail news:

DC Metro's stimulus money should prevent service cuts, layoffs

DC Metro will avoid significant proposed budget cuts for bus and rail service, thanks to $610 million it will receive from stimulus package passed by Congress at the end of December. The Washington Post reports Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority board members are expected to roll back the proposed cuts at a meeting later this week, and will also likely be able to avoid layoffs. The agency had proposed ending weekend rail service, closing 19 stations, and eliminating 2,400 jobs [see “Digest: Women charged with terrorist attack …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 1, 2020].

San Diego transit agencies consider fare increase, new fare card system
Most transit users in San Diego County could face the second fare increase in two years under a proposal being presented in three online meetings, the first of which was held Saturday. The San Diego Union Tribune reports the changes would include a 25-cent increase on one-way tickets for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, and for the Sprinter rail service between Oceanside and Escondido operated by the North County Transit District. No change is lanned for the NCTD’s Coaster commuter fares. The changes would come as both agencies change from their current Compass fare card to the proposed Pronto card. An agency spokesman said the hardware for the Compass card, used since 2009, is at the end of its useful life.

Jefferson City, Mo.., gets more time to find site for Amtrak station
Jefferson City, Mo., has been granted a six-month extension by state officials to find a new home for the trailer which serves as the community’s Amtrak station. The Jefferson City News Tribune reports the state asked the trailer, which has been located in the parking lot of the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site, be moved to open up state parking spaces, which are in short supply when the state legislature is in session. The city considered moving the trailer to nearby city-owned land, but that location would have blocked one of the entrances to the historic site lot, and the state indicated it would sue if that occurred [see “Digest: Virginia legislators working to acquire federal land …,” Trains News Wire, Dec. 11, 2020]. The trailer has served as the Amtrak station since fall 2019, when the community’s Union Hotel was closed because of structural issues. The station was located on the hotel’s first floor.
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