Metro has approved a new $4.8 billion budget that includes changes to how much riders will pay, Yellow Line service and more.
The $4.8 billion budget approves a proposal called fare simplification where some people may pay more and some less.
"Peak" and "Off Peak" times will go away, and the minimum rate will drop from $2.25 to $2. The amount per mile after three miles will go from 32 cents to 40 cents.
The maximum Metrorail fee will be $6. MetroAccess fare will be capped at $4.
Part of the new program will also essentially say anyone who's enrolled in SNAP benefits will get 50% off.
The Board of Directors proposed an amendment to the budget which will waive the $2 fee for Senior SmarTrip cards after Metro staff conducts a Title VI equity analysis and public participation and the Board of Directors approves the report. If approved, it will eliminate the $2 fee assessed for a card.
If you are someone who commutes long distances during off-peak hours and doesn't receive any sort of financial assistance, your fare is expected to go up the most.
Metro currently has a calculator on their website to check how much your journey will cost. The fare changes are set to take effect July 1.
"The FY 2024 budget focuses on optimizing Metro services while continuing to invest in long term infrastructure and sustainability projects," said Metro General Manger and CEO Randy Clarke. "With this budget, we are proud to invest in more frequent rail and bus service and a better customer experience, maximizing the value we deliver to the region with available resources."
Also part of the budget, once fully implemented, 75 percent of rail customer trips will have service every six minutes or better.
Green and Yellow line trains will arrive every six minutes all day. Yellow Line trains will operate between Huntington and Mt Vernon Square only. The Yellow Line turnback starts on May 7, with the reopening of the Yellow Line Bridge.
In addition, Orange Line trains will operate every 7.5 minutes on average during peak service and every 10 minutes during off-peak service.
The bus network will expand to 21 lines. The following bus lines will increase frequency and expand access:
- The B2 route will increase frequency to every 12 minutes all day.
- The A12 route will be restructured and extended into two routes connecting to the Downtown Largo and New Carrollton Stations, both operating every 20 minutes.
- The 16M service will be a restructuring of the existing 16G and 16H service, connecting Skyline City to National Landing along Columbia Pike every 12 minutes all day.
- Route 11C will be replaced by a reinstated Route 11Y, charging Express fare, with service every 24 minutes during peak periods.
While Metrorail service changes approved in the budget are expected to be implemented during the summer and fall of 2023 as more railcars and operators become available, Metrobus changes, simplified fares and Metro’s first low-income fare programs are scheduled to take effect on or about July 1.