ARLINGTON, Va. (ABC7) — In an Arlington church Tuesday night, a crowd primarily made up of Metro union employees, aired their fears about 2018 budget cut proposals.
“We believe that these changes are dead wrong and we believe that we can fight back against these changes together,” ATU 689 President Jackie Jeter said.
Metro leaders are considering a variety of changes to close a budget gap while investing in costly maintenance and safety improvements. Those changes include increasing rail and bus fares while reducing train and bus service.
Former bus operator Quincy Jones says Northern Virginia, with several bus routes under consideration for elimination, will be hit hard.
“Virginia should be outraged. This is going to cause of catastrophe. All of these cuts in Virginia, it’s already gridlock," Jones said.
Arguably the biggest fear in the room: job cuts. Metro is proposing to eliminate, through various means, about 1,000 positions. Some fear that will lead to transportation chaos.
“What do you think is going to happen if you take our jobs from us? You are gonna have people sitting in traffic all day long and then you are really going to really turn everybody against you," Shop Steward Tracy Smith said.
The big public hearing on Metro’s budget is set for Monday, January 30.