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Notes: NVTC urges returning federal workers to offices to boost Metro ridership

Good Wednesday morning, Alexandria!

☀️ Today’s weather: Expect mostly sunny skies during the day, with temperatures reaching a high of about 46 degrees, accompanied by a northwest wind of 6 to 10 mph. Wednesday night will be clear, with temperatures dropping to a low of around 27 degrees, and a northwest wind of 6 to 8 mph.

🚨 You need to know

The Potomac Yard Metro station (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

There’s a Potomac Yard-sized elephant in the room in Alexandria this morning, but an official announcement on that isn’t likely until 9 a.m.

In the meantime, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) has made recommendations to WMATA as the Metro system faces possible devastating cuts.

In a Report on the Condition and Performance of WMATA, the NVTC urged WMATA and local, state and federal authorities to:

  • Seek administrative or legislative opportunities to permit Metro to re-baseline its FY 2025 operating subsidy bill to reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Advocate for additional state aid in FY 2025 to match local funding for Metro
  • Seek a commitment from federal, state, regional and local funding partners to develop long-term, sustainable, dedicated funding to meet Metro’s capital and operating needs
  • Return federal workers to the office and secure a replacement for the region’s losses in fares from riders using federal transit benefits

NVTC said in its report that, prior to the pandemic, federal employees accounted for 40% of daily commuters on Metro. The report said WMATA received $100 million in fare revenue from federal employees in FY 2019, but since 2020 that ridership recovery has lagged behind other returning customers.

“There are 95,000 fewer weekday bus and rail trips by federal employees now compared to FY 2019,” NVTC said in the report. “Each additional day per week that federal employees ride Metro represents an additional $20 million in annual fare revenue. If federal employee ridership returns to prior levels, WMATA would receive approximately $50 million in additional fare revenue in FY 2025.”

The report also included longer-term recommendations, such as managing labor cost escalation and securing more sustainable and reliable sources of dedicated revenues.

📈 Tuesday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for Dec 12, 2023.

  1. Alexandria Italian eatery is Washingtonian readers’ second favorite Virginia restaurant (15817 views)
  2. Gov. Youngkin and Washington Capitals/Wizards owner expected at event in Potomac Yard tomorrow, WBJ reports (7957 views)
  3. Police investigate ATM stolen from 7-Eleven on Lincolnia Road (2312 views)

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