VRE Waives Fine After Woman Says Time Stamp on Ticket Was Wrong

The Virginia Railway Express waived a citation against a Virginia woman who told News4 she was accused of fare evasion because the time stamped onto her ticket was wrong.

Jennifer Pemberton faced a $100 fee plus court costs after she said she bought a ticket about 3:30 p.m. on March 16, but the time stamp said 8:40 a.m. that day.

Pemberton said she rode the VRE for the first time during the week of March 13 when Metro shut down all rail service. She took a bus to work and then bought a ticket to ride the VRE to get back to her car in Springfield, Virginia. Once she boarded the train, an employee asked to see her ticket.

"The conductor that I dealt with really treated me as if I was a criminal," she said and noted the worker kept the ticket.

Pemberton said she bought the ticket about 3:30 p.m. and not about 8:40 a.m. as the time stamp indicated. She said her credit card company was able to verify the charge of $6.75 from that afternoon.

Pemberton recently received a letter from VRE dated April 5 saying the citation was waived and she would not have to appear in court. The letter advised her to closely examine her ticket on future trips. 

“Be sure your ticket is purchased and/or validated prior to boarding the train; if you have any issues purchasing/validating out of the (TVM) machines, see a conductor prior to boarding the train,” a VRE spokeswoman said in the letter. 

VRE CEO Doug Allen previously said VRE workers issue about 120 to 150 summonses per month. About two-thirds of those are waived after riders show they have monthly passes, and for other reasons, Allen said.

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