New Metro fare proposal could change how much you pay to ride

A new proposal could change how much you pay to ride Metro. Officials are calling it fare simplification where some people may pay more and some less.

Fare prices and fare evasion were both topics of conversation at WMATA’s board meeting on Thursday. Metro says 13% of riders are not tapping their cards to pay.

That's why Metro is installing new gates with the hopes that they will prevent people from hopping over. Fort Totten will have them fully installed by the end of this weekend and then nine more stations will have them this summer: Wheaton, Bethesda, Vienna, Court House, Federal Center, Addison Road, Congress Heights, Pentagon City and Mount Vernon Square.

Installing the new gates will cost about $35 million.


Metro’s plan to fix 7000-series wheels, return fleet to service could take 3 years, cost $55M

Metro's plan to fix the way it presses wheels onto their 7000-series rail cars could take as long as three years to complete and cost approximately $55 million, the transit agency said Tuesday.

When it comes to fare prices, under the proposal, "Peak" and "Off Peak" times would go away, and the minimum rate would drop from $2.25 to $2. The amount per mile after three miles would go from 32 cents to 40 cents.

Part of the new program would essentially say anyone who's enrolled in SNAP benefits would get 50% off, and seniors and those living with disabilities would also be eligible for discounts.

These changes would be expected to generate $7.1 million, according to WMATA estimates.

The part the board still seems to be tinkering with is the maximum fare. The proposal is for $6.50, but the board is now considering $6. Some will pay more and some will pay less under these changes.


Metro to bring back automatic train operation after 14 years

After suspending automatic train operations in 2009 after a fatal Red Line crash, Metro is planning to switch back to automatic train operation starting this summer.

Metro General Manager Randy Clark says he knows fare policy is controversial and that there are no perfect answers. However, given how Metro is funded and how it all works, he thinks these changes are fair, as do 70% of respondents to a Metro survey.

If you are someone who commutes long distances during off-peak hours and don't received 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 could take effect July 1.