A Metro Delay Riders Will Love

WMATA postpones part of surcharge

By P.J. Orvetti
|  Thursday, Jul 29, 2010  |  Updated 12:36 PM EDT
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Finally, a Metro delay we can get behind.

In a bit of karmic justice for Metro riders, WMATA's extra 20 cent surcharge on morning peak fares will be delayed for a few weeks as Metro works out some kinks in the system.  Only the afternoon portion of the fare hike will kick in on Monday.

Metro said the delay is due to "memory limitations" of fare gate technology and paper fare cards due to the format of magnetic fare cards. The required number of fare levels for magnetic fare cards is not able to accommodate all of the time periods and fares for peak-of-the-peak pricing until reprogramming takes place.  In other words, the complex pricing-timing system is a bit much for the system to handle. 

Because of the delay, Metro riders will pay two dimes less between 7:30 and 9 a.m. than on the same route between 4:30 and 6 p.m. So riders will pay a bit less to ride to work than to head back home.

The Post's Dr. Gridlock says Metro “stands to lose $200,000 to $375,000 in anticipated revenue.”

Metro said the fix should be in place by the end of August.

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