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Metro: People Are Actually Using Their Farecards!

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘orphum’

This should shock precisely no one, but WMATA is expressing some concern that riders are actually using their farecards until they’re empty. WMATA was hoping to use the $11M in unused fare-dollars for other budgetary purposes next year, but the rise in SmarTrip card usage (upwards of 70% on rail and 60% bus, now!), and the recession that has people keeping their farecards and reloading them, even when they have less than a fare on them. Metro had been tapping up to 5% of fares as a slush fund of sorts useful for paying small deficits, but with fewer farecards in use, their accountants are recommending only 3% of fares be used in that manner.

There are internal proposals at Metro to raise fares up to 15% to cover the budget gap.