About 14 people gather in front of the Columbia Heights Metro station to demonstrate against the fare hikes.
credit: Angie Whitehurst

On June 29, citizens and a coalition of organizations held a rally at the Columbia Heights Metro Station to protest the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority fare hikes and cuts of bus routes and services.

Nearly 100 senior citizens, retired Metro employees, people with disabilities, students, and passersby gathered at the station. Speakers from One DC, Amalgamated Transit Union 689 and others encouraged the crowd to contact their council members and call for affordable transit and to bring back the recently-cut bus routes.

While service and ridership has suffered through “SafeTrack” for a year, WMATA chose to raise non-rush-hour rates on bus and rail by 25 cents, raise rush-hour rail rates by 10 cents, and reduce bus service.

Improving people’s lives in a democracy requires affordable, reliable and sensible transportation. And what Metro says they are saving out of the Metro budget by doing this is miniscule.

The retired, elderly, disabled, financially challenged and families using the Metro for childcare dropoff and pickup are being marginalized. To be self-sufficient, people must be mobile. To get to work and back is important. Anything which can lead to more poverty and dislocation and subsequent homelessness needs to be changed.

Metro needs to find its humanity.

This decision has no heart and we as a city are not fodder to be shredded by political budget snippers!