In response to customer comments to avoid service cuts, a number of steps are being taken to maintain Metro's current services, including the contribution of more funding from the government jurisdictions. But to help close the budget gap, adjustments also need to be made on fares and fees on Metrorail and Metrobus in two phases. The first phase took effect June 27; the second began on August 1.
The second phase of Metrorail fare adjustments took effect on August 1, with the implementation of a new 20¢ peak-of-the-peak fee during afternoon weekday travel periods, an increase in the cost of three Metrorail passes and a 25¢ increase in cost for Metrorail customers who use a paper farecard 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 took effect on Tuesday, August 3, with a 20¢ 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¢ 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 farecards due to the format of magnetic farecards. The required number of fare levels for magnetic farecards 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 is based on the starting time of a trip, or when a customer enters the fare gate at a Metrorail station.
Metrorail passes increase
The cost of three Metrorail passes increased on August 1. The Weekly Short Trip Pass now costs $32.35, the Weekly Fast Pass costs $47 and the Transit Link Card for MARC and VRE riders costs $102.
25¢ fee for paper farecards
Metrorail customers who use a paper farecard instead of a SmarTrip® card now pay an additional 25¢. 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.
The reserved monthly parking fee is $65.
Metrorail Fare Changes
Metrorail fares increased by 18 percent; the new regular base boarding fare is $1.95. Example: a Metrorail trip from Twinbrook to Union Station during the morning commute cost $4.30 before June 27. Now it costs $4.90.
Senior citizens 65 and older, persons with disabilities, and customers with a Medicare card and valid photo ID ride for half the regular fare. On Metrorail, use a SmarTrip® card or farecard for seniors or persons with disabilities to pay the reduced fare.
The increase in Metrorail pass prices mirrored the fare increase. But even with its new cost, a pass saves customers money. If a customer commutes each weekday from Twinbrook to Union Station, the cost for 10 trips when paying regular fares is $49. But with a Weekly Fast Pass, the maximum cost is $45. And any trips beyond that are free.
|One Day Pass||$9|
|Weekly Short Trip Pass||$30.35*|
|Weekly Fast Pass||$45*|
|Transit Link Card (MARC and VRE)||$92*|
|D.C. Student 10-trip Farecards||$9.50|
*These pass prices will be adjusted on August 1
Starting August 1, peak fares will be charged from midnight until closing on Friday and Saturday nights.
Metrobus Fare Changes
As of June 27, the new fare on a regular Metrobus is $1.50 when paid with a Smartrip® card or $1.70 when paid with cash. The senior/disabled fare is 75¢. The new fare on an express bus is $3.65 when paid with a Smartrip® card or $3.85 when paid with cash. Even with the increase in the cost of a Metrobus weekly pass (from $11 to $15), customers begin saving after taking only 10 trips. And the Weekly Bus Pass allows unlimited travel on Metrobus for seven days.
|Weekly Flash Pass||$15|
|Tokens (10 pack)||$17|
|D.C. Student Tokens||$7.50|
|Weekly Senior Flash Pass||$7.50|
|Weekly Disabled Flash Pass||$7.50|
The new fare on Metrobus 5A to Dulles International Airport and Metrobus B30 to Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is $6.
The transfer window was reduced from three to two hours. This applies to bus-to-bus, rail-to-bus and bus-to-rail transfers.
Bike Locker Rental Fees
For the first time in 32 years, the annual bike locker fee increased. A reserved, secure place to store a bicycle is only $200 per year (55¢ a day).
The MetroAccess base fare increased from $2.50 to $3, with an additional $2 to $4 supplemental charge for MetroAccess passengers who begin or end their trips more than 3/4 miles from Metro fixed-route service, which is the service corridor requirement laid out in the Americans with Disabilities Act. The maximum fare for MetroAccess service is limited to $7.
(Note: Later in the year, probably in the fall, the MetroAccess base fare will be adjusted to twice the equivalent fixed route bus or rail fare. Even with this change the maximum fare for MetroAccess, including supplemental charges will remain $7.)