July 29, 2020, 6:00 AM
The Washington Metro transit system is losing millions per day in revenue due to depressed ridership during the coronavirus pandemic, General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said Tuesday, warning that more federal funding is needed to avert deep cuts.
At a news conference hosted by the American Public Transportation Association, Wiedefeld warned the drying up of federal funding from the CARES Act — Congress’ first pandemic relief bill — again puts the system on the precipice of wider cutbacks.
He added the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which operates Metrorail, has suffered roughly $2 million in lost revenue every weekday since March.
“Unfortunately, the CARES Act funds to Metro will dry up later this year, at the same time our fare revenues are projected to continue to be down approximately 90%, and our local and state funding sources continue to face financial crises of their own,” Wiedefeld said.
“The reality is that, without additional federal funds, we are left with some very difficult choices to deal with a looming financial crisis that run counter to the economic recovery we all want.”