The DC Metro Systems’ Paratransit for Elderly and Disabled to be cut

The DC Metro is planning to scale back its MetroAccess service for elderly and disabled people as increasing ridership creates an unsustainable financial burden, Metro officials and board members said. With Metro facing a $189 million gap in its $1.4 billion operating budget this fiscal year, as well as $11 billion in projected capital needs in the coming decade, top Metro officials say the agency cannot afford the mounting costs of paratransit.

MetroAccess is Metro’s shared-ride transit service for people who cannot use standard rail or bus service because of age or disability. Transit agencies across the country have reduced such services, said Metro interim general manager Richard Sarles, noting that MetroAccess faces higher demand partly because similar regional services have been cut back.

Source: Washington Post (May 25, 2010)