In case you haven’t noticed all the news and press releases coming from WMATA recently, here is a brief recap to keep you up to date on upcoming changes…
On Monday, June 18, Metrorail and Metrobus will provide new rush hour service that will be able to accommodate more passengers and reduce crowding on the Orange, Blue, Green, and Yellow lines. With more trains per hour, riders in Arlington will have less waiting time on the Orange and Yellow lines for those going into DC. If you are traveling on the Blue Line via Arlington Cemetery, there will be additional wait time; however, the 9E and 10E Metrobus lines will offer express service to Rosslyn from the Pentagon and Crystal City VRE Station to give additional options to riders. For specific details on Rush+, check out Metro’s website which has more information about the service changes on each Metro line and individual stations as well as an overview video. CommuterPageBlog also has information about how riders will be affected by Rush+, as well as the Rush+ User's Guide from The Washington Post.
On July 1, fares on Metrorail and Metrobus will increase, as well as passes and parking fees. On Metrorail, a $1 surcharge will be applied to riders using a paper farecard; customers are encouraged to use SmarTrip cards instead. In addition, the $0.20 “peak of the peak” rush hour surcharge will be eliminated. To determine what your commute will cost after the fare increase, use WMATA’s Trip Planner, and enter a travel date after July 1. You can also find more details about the increases at WMATA’s website.
New SmarTrip Features:
To promote the use of SmarTrip cards, Metro recently announced a number of changes and improvements that will be implemented throughout the year. On July 1, to coincide with the fare increases, riders will now be able to load one-day rail passes and the new 28-day rail pass onto SmarTrip cards. Starting September 1, Metro will offer a $3 rebate to customers who register their card online, essentially reducing the cost of the card to $2. Also coming this fall, riders with online accounts will have the option of automatically reloading the balance on their card once it gets below a certain amount. This will be similar to the E-ZPass system in that the SmarTrip card will be linked to a debit or credit card.
Finally, it will be easier and more convenient to purchase a SmarTrip as WMATA will be installing card vending machines in all Metro stations by September. Certain stations, including Rosslyn, Foggy Bottom, Union Station, and Smithsonian will have these machines by July 1. SmarTrip cards can save riders money on both Metrorail and Metrobus, so keep an eye out for the vending machines this summer! You can also purchase a card online or at a Commuter Store and other retail locations. To read more about these improvements, check out Metro's news release.
Hope this has been a helpful overview of all things Metro! Feel free to contact ATP if you have specific questions or for more information.