Metro is obligated to make sure people pay to ride, a spokesman said.
Earlier this month, D.C. Council member Trayon White sponsored a bill to eliminate the possibility of jail time for fare evasion and reduce the fine for those arrested. He says fare evasion is disproportionately enforced in poorer sections of the region.
The News4 I-Team found 677 arrests so far this year by police tracking fare cheaters.
In a public statement, Metro said that’s only a tiny fraction of fare evasion cases. Ninety-two percent of fare cheating did not result in arrests, Metro said. Those that did were for also committing more serious offense, like carrying guns, Metro said.
"As stewards of taxpayer funds from federal, state and local sources, Metro believes it has an obligation to ensure that every rider pays his or her fair share," a Metro spokesperson told News4.
The D.C. Council formally referred the Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017 to the Judiciary Committee.