WASHINGTON (AP) — Metro says riders may see smaller fare hikes thanks to expense reductions and an improved ridership outlook.

Metro announced Sunday that its operating budget will only need to grow by about $103 million in the next fiscal year. That’s about $16 million lower than originally proposed. The revised operating budget proposal is about $1.576 billion.

Metro had proposed increasing rail and bus peak fares by an average of 5 percent. Any fare changes would likely begin in July.

The transit agency’s board’s finance committee will discuss options to amend the original fare proposal at its meeting Thursday.

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