To help overcome a deficit in the transit authority’s next budget, the Metro board of directors adopted increases in Metro’s parking fees, and bus and rail fares. The increase for rail passengers is about 5 percent. However, actual amounts will vary greatly depending on distance. Bus fares will increase by a dime for those who use electronic SmarTrip cards, rising to $1.60. Metro’s base peak fare for rail riders will increase from $1.95 to $2.10. The maximum peak fare will increase from $5 to $5.75.The base off-peak rail fare will increase from $1.60 to $1.70.
A number of Metro riders filled the boardroom at Metro’s headquarters to speak out against the impact increases would have on those who use MetroAccess, the transit authority’s service for the disabled. The maximum charge for using MetroAccess will remain at $7. Lois Staves, 62, of Fort Washington, said, “We go to meeting after meeting to plead for you not to raise our fares. We have rights to be mobile. You take away our mobility. You crush our spirit. A person has to decide whether to go out or stay in. If you are on a fixed income you’re just stuck.” The changes are expected to take effect July 1.