In November 2022, WMATA launched a new safety initiative to crack down on fare evasion. The civil fine in the District is $50, and in Virginia and Maryland, fare evasion is a criminal violation punishable by up to a $100 fine.  -  Photo: Larry Levine

In November 2022, WMATA launched a new safety initiative to crack down on fare evasion. The civil fine in the District is $50, and in Virginia and Maryland, fare evasion is a criminal violation punishable by up to a $100 fine.

Photo: Larry Levine

Beginning March 18, Washington, D.C.’s Metro Transit Police (MTPD) will enhance the issuing of citations for fare evasion in the District, following the passage of the Secure DC Bill.

The emergency legislation, passed unanimously by the DC Council and signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, includes a provision requiring anyone stopped for fare evasion to provide their true name and address, allowing police officers to issue civil citations.

The new law also increases the penalty for assaulting bus and rail operators or Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) employees under the Transit Operator Protection and Enhanced Penalty Amendment Act.

 

What’s Changed?

Before the Secure DC Bill passed, MTPD officers could engage an individual who did not pay the fare but were unable to compel compliance. Instead, officers could only ask an individual to leave the station or go back and pay their fare, severely limiting enforcement efforts.

Under the new law, anyone who refuses to provide their true name and address may be arrested and face a fine of up to $100 for failing to comply.

In November 2022, WMATA launched a new safety initiative to crack down on fare evasion. The civil fine in the District is $50, and in Virginia and Maryland, fare evasion is a criminal violation punishable by up to a $100 fine.

The agency is also in the process of modifying faregates at all 98 Metrorail stations with new salon-style doors that make fare evasion more difficult.

The Secure DC Bill provides additional tools for MTPD to stop and deter criminal behavior, and is critical to running a safe, efficient system. The changes also support WMATA’s Strategic Transformation Plan to provide safe, reliable service, support equity and sustainability, protect employees, and foster collaboration with our regional partners.

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