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Metro OKs $2.5B budget, fares increasing in July

WASHINGTON — Metro’s board of directors has unanimously approved a $2.5 billion spending plan.

The Washington Post reports the budget passed on Thursday includes $1.6 billion to operate and maintain the transit system’s trains and buses. It also will be used to pay employees, hire more police officers and prepare for the opening of the silver line.

The budget will also help pay for a major change on Metro’s orange line beginning June 18. The transit agency will add more trains on the line to deal with overcrowding during rush-hour periods.

Metro riders are also being hit with fare increases averaging about 5 percent, depending on the destination and time of day. It will also cost 25 cents more to park at Metro’s facilities. The increases take effect July 1.