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Beyer Blasts Metro Plan to Cut Service and Eliminate Alexandria Stations

With Alexandria poised to potentially lose two Metro stations due to funding cuts, Rep. Don Beyer issued a statement blasting the proposed cuts as “apocalyptic” and said Congress should rally to pass a new set of funding.

Proposed cuts include ending service after 9 p.m., ending weekend service, reducing the number of trains, and closing operations at 19 stations. Two of those stations, Eisenhower and Van Dorn Street, are located in Alexandria.

“The proposed WMATA budget cuts would be apocalyptic for Metro service and devastate its workforce,” Beyer said in a press release. “This catastrophe must not be allowed to happen, and Congress can prevent it by passing a new aid package. WMATA is not alone in its massive funding shortfall, which is a direct result of the pandemic. Cuts like this will hit across the country without robust aid for state and local governments and specific targeted funding for transit.”

Metro had already been facing a death spiral before the pandemic, but the bad situation was significantly exacerbated by the loss of ridership — around a 90% decrease — due to COVID-19.

“On the Joint Economic Committee we predicted massive, urgent need for state and local government funding at the beginning of April,” Beyer said. “The House passed a legislative package that addressed that problem and included $32 billion in transit funding in May, but Mitch McConnell has blocked additional aid.”

WMATA is currently facing an estimated $500 million shortfall.

Beyer was not alone. Other local leaders also shared frustration at the proposed cuts and said measures must be taken to prevent the worst-case-scenario cuts.

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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