The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Metro Transit Police officers will begin issuing fare evasion citations on Tuesday, Nov. 1, following a month-long awareness and warning campaign. Citations with associated fines may be issued to anyone jumping fare gates, improperly using emergency gates, or not tapping fare boxes on Metrobuses.
Fare recovery is a major issue and has been mentioned as one of the top concerns of customers when talking with WMATA staff and board members.
Fare evasion is responsible for significant revenue losses and is part of the focus to close a shortfall of nearly $185 million in the upcoming budget. Using data from Metrobus and pre-pandemic industry averages for Metrorail, WMATA estimates revenue losses due to fare evasion totaling tens of millions of dollars in fiscal year 2022.
WMATA is working with local partners to offer resources to make public transit more equitable and affordable for those in need. A low-income fare pilot is getting underway in the District, and at the agency’s recent board meeting initial concepts about a regional means-based fare program were presented.
The agency is also exploring other methods that will prevent customers from entering rail stations without paying. This month, WMATA is expected to begin testing faregate modifications as a preventative measure. Prototypes will be installed as a pilot at a selected rail station. Some of the modifications being explored include physical deterrents on top of faregates and higher barriers.
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