United States

Furloughed Workers May Get Free DC Metro, MARC Train Rides

The free rides are available to federal employees heading to or from work despite not getting paid

Editor's note, Jan. 25, 2019, 3:45 p.m.: Metro's board of directors announced they will not meet to consider free rides for federal workers, after President Donald Trump announced a temporary end to the government shutdown

Furloughed government workers reporting to their jobs will get free D.C. Metro and bus rides for the length of the government shutdown, pending approval by Metro's board of directors. 

Workers would be able to show government ID to station managers and bus operators in order to ride for free.

Metro is expected to vote on the proposal at 3 p.m. Friday. 

The decision came on Day 35 of the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. WMATA says it's losing $400,000 per day as a result of the shutdown, and MARC also has seen ticket sales fall.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Thursday that several means of transit in the state also will be free to federal workers headed to or from work during the shutdown. 

Workers can show ID to ride the following services for free: MARC trains, Commuter Bus and BaltimoreLink services, including CityLink, LocalLink, Express BusLink, Light RailLink and Metro SubwayLink.


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In Virginia, feds could ride the Fairfax Connector and Loudoun County Transit for free when reporting to or from work, starting last week. Montgomery County's Ride On buses are free to all feds who show government ID until further notice.

Loudoun Country Transit Board Chair Phyllis J. Randall said she hopes giving feds a break makes a difference. 

“If we can help defray the cost of food for a Loudoun County resident impacted by the federal government shutdown, perhaps they can focus on paying their mortgage or rent,” she said in a statement. 

Lyft is offering two free rides up to $10 each to feds, which can be obtained by calling United Way's 2-1-1 hotline. They are also offering gas cards to drivers who are furloughed government workers, which can be picked up at the Lyft Support Hub by showing a federal government employee ID. 

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