Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Metro Holding Open Houses for Rider Input in Mid-May

Metro will be holding its first-ever combined Open Houses and Town Hall Meetings prior to official public hearings, to give Metro riders the opportunity to speak out about Metro service, changes, and problems.  Here's how Metro's official press release couched it:
"Metro staff members will be available at Open Houses for one-on-one conversations about Metro service and programs. Town Hall Meetings will give you an opportunity to talk about the future of the system with Metro leaders, including members of the Metro Board of Directors."
So...we riders will finally get "an opportunity" to meet face to face with the exalted "Metro leaders"...even the members of the Board of Directors! Next, we learn of the following "options" (translation: "cuts in service" and "fare increases") in the FY2012 budget.
  • Increasing the Metrorail train wait times on weekends
  • Eliminating the Metrobus E6, K1 and N8 lines
  • Restructuring the Metrobus M4, V7, V8, 70 and 71 lines
  • Eliminating the 50 cent discount on certain Anacostia bus routes, resulting in MetroAccess fare increase, and modification of the Anacostia station bus transfer discount program
All Open Houses will be from 5:30-6:00 p.m. followed by the Town Hall Meetings. The public question-and-answer period will be from 6:00-6:45 p.m. The Public Hearings will start at 6:45 p.m. There are a total of six events being held on four dates at locations in Maryland, Virginia, and DC. The two DC events are listed below. For the full schedule of all the events go to: WMATA's website and then open the PDF document link to "Dates, Locations, and Directions to the Public Hearings."

Tuesday, May 17

St. Mary's Armenian Apostolic Church
4125 Fessenden St, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Metrorail stop: Friendship Heights
[Note: This is the Metro stop suggested in Metro's press release. The meeting location is actually equidistant from Tenleytown and Friendship Heights, about a half-mile walk from either station. In other words, the meeting is being held at a place not especially convenient to either station.]

Thursday, May 19

Matthews Memorial Baptist Church
2616 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20020
Metrorail stop: Anacostia
[Note: Although the suggested Metro station is only one-third of a mile away, it is not clear that there is a pedestrian sidewalk crossing Suitland Parkway. Google Maps suggested that walking this route would be hazardous.]

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