News & Politics

Metro Offers $2 Fares, Other Incentives to Get Riders Back

The transit agency will offer service improvements and discounts to coax people back onto trains and buses

Photograph by ellisonphoto via iStock.

Metro announced a host of measures Monday to encourage riders to choose trains and buses again, especially outside rush-hour commutes. The measures include discounts and improved service that will start Sunday, September 5.

Metro’s not suddenly being nice: By the end of June, its figures show rail ridership was down 83 percent over 2019, and bus ridership was down 65 percent.

Among the incentives:

Rail

$2 weekend fares: No matter how far you’re going. It also promises more weekend trains.

More trains until 9:30 p.m.: It promises waits of three to six minutes at stations served by multiple lines and on the Red Line. You can expect more trains after 9:30 p.m., too.

Stations will close at 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays: That’s an hour later than now.

• Stations will open at 7 a.m. on Sundays: An hour earlier than at present.

Bus

More buses, more service: Popular lines will get more frequent service. Other lines will see service restorations.

Discounts: A seven-day regional bus pass will now cost $12 ($6 for seniors and disabled people).

Free transfers from rail: Getting off the train? You can transfer free to a bus.

Unlimited passes

• Passes on sale! WMATA says it will offer some unlimited passes for half-off from September 16 to October 15.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.