Metro Rate Hike Postponed Until Tuesday

By Kriston Capps
|  Monday, Aug 2, 2010  |  Updated 7:46 PM EDT
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Starting Tuesday it will cost Metro riders more to take the trains in the afternoon, and even more to use a paper ticket.

Starting Tuesday it will cost Metro riders more to take the trains in the afternoon, and even more to use a paper ticket.

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Metro has postponed its plans to hike rates on area trains -- but not for long.

A 25-cent increase on paper tickets was implemented by Metrorail Sunday and then later postponed to allow the agency time to post new fare charts in stations. The fare hikes are now set to begin on Tuesday.

Metrorail riders will pay 25 cents more if they use a paper ticket to ride as opposed to a SmarTrip card. Customers will also pay 20 cents more during peak hours -- between 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Later in the month, Metro will implement another "peak of the peak" fare increase for the morning commute -- with fares rising 20 cents between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. The fare increases have not been staggered for the rider's benefit. Rather, the Washington Post's Dr. Gridlock reports, computer turnstyle memory is too limited to process the change all at once.

As an added incentive for riders to switch to SmarTrip cards, Metro will reduce the price of a SmarTrip card to $2.50.

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