The Metro’s Board of Directors announced lowered fares and improved service times Thursday in an attempt to draw more riders back to the Metro by the fall.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority voted Thursday to extend Metrorail operating hours until midnight seven days a week, grant riders free transfers between buses and trains and decrease weekend Metrorail fares to $2 by September, according to a release. The Metro board made the changes to incentivize workers and families to return to the Metro as D.C. reopens after more than a year of shutdowns throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg said in the release.
“This package of service and fare changes makes it easier for riders to return to Metro and give transit a try,” he said in the release. “The Board today voted to provide more frequent trains and buses, addresses the historic transfer fee to promote connecting from bus to rail, and includes special weekend fares that will encourage visitors and area families to take transit as they start traveling again.”
The release states most changes will be implemented on Labor Day as schools and workplaces begin to reopen but the specific dates of service changes will be announced in the future.
Trains on the red line will operate every 6 minutes and all other lines will operate every 12 minutes during off-peak hours by September and late-night trains will come at least every 15 minutes, the release states.
The release also states the previous $1.50 charge to transfer between buses and trains will end in September, and Metrorail operating hours will extend to 1 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays in the fall.