Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Metro Fares May Rise by Over Five Percent

Students who use the D.C. Metro may see their wallets shrink as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority debates a 5.7 percent fare increase to address budget shortfalls.

Along with the fare hike — which would cover about $50 million of next year’s projected $124 million shortfall — WMATA is considering rounding bus cash fares to the dollar and eliminating the peak-hour fare system.

A Dec. 1 press release from WMATA cited growing wage, health and pension costs, including $11 million in court-mandated wage increases and $9 million increases in pensions for workers, as accounting for nearly half the deficit. The remainder is due to projects such as $20 million in preparation costs for the Metrorail expansion to Dulles Airport and $8 million for escalator maintenance.

Some students are unsatisfied with the current fare system and upset at the prospect of further price increases.

“I think it’s frustrating already because you have to pay for distance whereas in Boston on the T you only pay once,” Kristen Trivelli (NHS ’14) said.

But students said the possibility of a fare hike would have little impact on their use of the system due to the limited number of alternatives in the District.

“I honestly don’t think that it would impact my metro riding at all because I would have to take the metro regardless, and taxis are still more expensive in general,” Brad Hilson (COL ’12) said.

WMATA last raised fares in 2010 with a general 10-cent increase across all modes of transportation. Later that year, the transit authority enacted a rate system based on peak commute hours that further increased Metrorail fare. That increase was designed to mitigate a $40 million budget shortfall.

“It’s not going to change the fact that people don’t want to have to drive through the traffic in the city,” Hilson said about future rate increases. “People are just going to have to deal with it.”

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