The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is facing a $176 million gap in its $1.7 billion fiscal 2010 budget that will likely force service cuts and the elimination of 891 jobs, but WMATA officials said they will not increase fares.

“The budget year ahead is as bleak as the national economy,” the agency’s general manager, John Catoe, said in a news release. “However, we are proposing to deliver a balanced spending plan that remains focused on safety and customer service without asking local governments or our riders to pay more.”

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