WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The commentary period for the public to weigh in on WMATA’s upcoming fiscal year opened on Monday.

The Metro system has suffered a severe decrease in ridership due to the pandemic. Use of the Metrorail, for example, is down by about 90 percent. Despite being provided COVID-19 financial relief, WMATA is still experiencing a budget shortfall that will likely require service cuts at the end of 2021 (halfway into Fiscal Year 2022).

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen is working alongside other Maryland lawmakers to extend and improve federal support of WMATA for the next 10 years to upkeep the Metro’s current services, but he did note that nothing can be definite until the pandemic is over.

“Beyond that is uncertain because it’s just a world of uncertainty, both in terms of exactly when we’ll beat the pandemic but also whether it will make permanent changes in the way people work and live,” said Van Hollen.

The commentary period will end on March 16. WMATA encourages anyone who utilizes their service — now or after the pandemic — to offer their opinions on the topic.