In an effort to bring riders back to the rail service post-pandemic, Metro board members are considering temporarily lowering fares.
Board member Michael Goldman pushed the idea at a meeting on Thursday, proposing an elimination of the peak fare system where riders pay more for trips during rush hour. Instead, Goldman suggested instituting a flat fare across the day: $2 for rides in DC, $3 for rides within the Beltway, and $3.85 for trips outside of the Beltway. He proposed that the fare discounts kick off after Labor Day, in tandem with the likely of many workers to offices. The board’s vice chair, Stephanie Gidigbi Jenkins, also recommended an elimination of the transfer fee, which charges riders extra for switching lines.
Ridership has plunged during the pandemic—at the end of 2020, it was down 88 percent from the year before. WMATA announced in December that it was considering shutting down 19 stations and halting weekend rail service to ease financial woes. The cuts were halted due to the passage of the American Recovery Plan in March, which funneled $1.4 billion for DC-area transportation.