Metro Cutting Free Rides for MARC, VRE Riders During Disruptions - NBC4 Washington

Adam Tuss and the News4 team covering everything that slows you down on roads and transit

Metro Cutting Free Rides for MARC, VRE Riders During Disruptions

Amid yearslong funding issues, the beleagured transit agency had not been collecting reimbursement from MARC or VRE for the fares

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Metro Cutting Free Rides for MARC, VRE Riders During Disruptions
    Getty Images
    WASHINGTON, DC - March 16: The entrance to the Metro Center station is gated closed during the morning rush hours on March 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Metro's General manager Paul Wiedefeld made the decision to close for 29 hours for a safety inspection after a recent fire. Metro makes approximately 725,000 trips per day in the D.C. Metro area. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)

    MARC and VRE train riders who rely on Metro during service disruptions will no longer be allowed to ride for free, starting next month.

    Metro announced Monday that starting July 1, riders who turn to Metro during MARC and VRE service disruptions will not be able to enter Metrorail stations through the emergency gates. Instead, riders will have to tap a SmarTrip card to pay for their Metro trip.  

    The agency said in a statement that VRE riders' and MARC riders' "Metro option" was "an informal courtesy extended by Metro that was carried forward over time." 

    Amid yearslong funding issues, the beleagured transit agency had not been collecting reimbursement from MARC or VRE for the fares. 

    DC Wants to Tax Uber, Lyft to Fund Metro

    [DC] DC Wants to Tax Uber, Lyft to Fund Metro

    Uber and Lyft customers could have to pay more if the District approves a tax on ride-sharing companies. News4's Adam Tuss reports.

    (Published Wednesday, April 11, 2018)

    "There was no process for Metro to properly track or seek reimbursement for the cost of these trips, nor any agreement between MARC/VRE and Metro to govern the program," Metro's statement said. 

    Metro said it made the change to "reduce fare-payment disputes, improve safety, and ensure that every rider is counted toward WMATA's funding grants." 

    A statement from VRE said agency officials understand and support Metro’s efforts to improve its systems.

    “WMATA’s change also impacts MARC riders, and VRE is committed to working with MARC and WMATA for a long-term, regional solution allowing us to add the Metro Option back to our resources during service disruptions,” VRE's statement said.

    MARC and VRE riders without a SmarTrip card can go here to find out where to buy them.

    Watch NBC4 and get the latest news anytime, anywhere. Check here for TV listings.