Second phase of Metrorail fare adjustments begins August 1
Metro to implement peak-of-peak pricing in two steps
The second phase of Metrorail fare adjustments will take effect on August 1, with the implementation of a new 20-cent peak-of-the-peak fee during afternoon weekday travel periods, an increase in the cost of three Metrorail passes and a 25-cent increase in cost for Metrorail customers who use a paper fare card instead of a SmarTrip® card.
Due to unforeseen system programming limitations of technology in implementing the new peak-of-the-peak pricing, Metro will implement peak-of-the-peak pricing in two steps. The first step will take effect on Monday, August 2, with a 20-cent fee applied to afternoon trips taken between 4:30 and 6 p.m. weekdays. The second step is expected to occur by the end of August, with a 20-cent fee applied to morning trips taken between 7:30 and 9 a.m. weekdays.
The two-step implementation approach is being taken because of memory limitations of fare gate technology and paper fare cards due to the format of magnetic fare cards. The required number of fare levels for magnetic fare cards is not able to accommodate all of the time periods and fares for peak-of-the-peak pricing until reprogramming takes place.
The new peak-of-the-peak fee will be based on the starting time of a trip, or when a customer enters the fare gate at a Metrorail station.
In addition to the afternoon peak-of-the-peak fee taking effect on August 2, the cost of three Metrorail passes will increase and Metrorail customers who use a paper fare card instead of a SmarTrip® card will pay an additional 25 cents per trip.
However, Metro is reducing the cost of a SmarTrip® card from $5 to $2.50 starting on August 29 to make it easier for customers to take advantage of SmarTrip® savings. This marks the first reduction in the price of the cards since SmarTrip® was first introduced in 1999.
Metrorail passes will increase on August 2 as follows: the Weekly Short Trip Pass will be $32.35, the Weekly Fast Pass will be $47 and the Transit Link Card for MARC and VRE riders will be $102.
News release issued at 9:27 am, July 29, 2010.