SA seeks Metro fare discounts

Members of the Student Association are lobbying the city for a discount to recently-hiked Metro prices.

The District raised base rush hour fares from $1.35 to $1.65, and the cost to travel to distant stations in Maryland and Virginia also increased. The SA has been working on a plan since September to get students reduced fares, said SA president Nicole Capp.

Capp, a junior, said the SA has collaborated on the issue with other universities in the District, including Georgetown, Howard, Catholic, and American. They are trying to convince the D.C. City Council to adopt a student fare plan.

The SA proposed ideas to the city council last semester, and a letter of support signed by D.C. university presidents will be given to the city council this month, Capp said.

“Feedback was positive and I am hopeful for potential movement on researching the prospects of our proposal by D.C. city officials in the coming semester,” Capp wrote in an e-mail.

Steven Taubenkibel, public affairs specialist for the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority, said he is not currently aware of any plan to offer college students discounts on the Metro.

Before any reduced fare plan is enacted, WMATA officials would have to review the plan and then send it to the board of directors to be voted upon, Taubenkibel said.

The recent rate increase will not have a major affect on GW students because they rarely travel during rush hours, said Kyle Boyer, assistant vice president of community affairs for the SA.

“It is widely understood that college students utilize transit systems in off-peak hours,” said Boyer, who is spearheading the college discount project for the SA.

He added that college students contribute a great deal to off-peak Metro traffic, something the city has said it would like to increase.

Boyer said, “We believe that D.C. region college students help that cause, and will do so in even greater numbers should they be given a discount.”

The Metro increase is expected to raise $109 million which will go toward filling budget deficit.

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