Members of the Transportation & Environment Committee have written WMATA a letter stating that they believe that Metro should adopt a fare plan that is fair to all riders. The full letter, by Montgomery County Council President Evan Glass and Councilmembers Kate Stewart and Marilyn Balcombe, can be seen below:
“Dear Mr. Smedberg,
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is an integral partner in connecting residents to jobs, educational institutions and recreational activities. We thank you for providing robust and reliable transit service across the region.
We are concerned about the Fare Simplification Plan as part of the proposed Fiscal Year 2024 operating budget. The plan would eliminate the off-peak rail fares, increase the maximum fare and recalculate the distance formula. Montgomery County residents who travel during the midday off-peak times are set to experience disproportionate increases in rail fares compared to other riders system wide. Currently, a midday round trip costs $7.70. Under the new plan, this will increase to $13, in addition to the $5.20 that is paid for parking.
We recognize the impact of COVID-19 on ridership and appreciate the federal government appropriating funding to maintain WMATA operations with minimal disruptions during the pandemic. However, we are concerned that increasing fares will serve as a barrier toward increasing ridership. An equitable fare structure is needed to help incentivize ridership, especially among residents who have other transportation options available.
We look forward to continuing to work together to keep Montgomery County and the region moving forward.
Signed by Evan Glass (Transportation and Environment Committee, Chair), Kate Stewart (Councilmember, District 4), and Marilyn Balcombe (Councilmember, District 2)”