Last Sunday, the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority increased Metrobus and Metrorail fares throughout the District, Maryland and Virginia. This is the third fare hike in the past five years for the WMATA, according to the Washington Post.
Off-peak Metrorail rides will cost between $1.70 and $3.50, while peak hours on weekdays will increase the fare to somewhere between $2.10 to as high as $5.75. Seniors and disabled will continue to see a fare between $1.05 and $1.85.
To save money, SmarTrip cards are essential. A paper ticket will garner you a surcharge of $1. Avoid using cash, as bus fares add on a 20 cent surcharge without a SmarTrip card and 35 cents for express routes. However, the WMATA is making it easier to get a SmarTrip card by adding machines in rail stations rather than solely in grocery or convenience stores. Both the Rosslyn and Foggy Bottom stops will now have machines to buy SmarTrip cards.
The WMATA finance board approved the fare increase last April, to go into effect July 1. The Board of Directors predicted a $103 million deficit for fiscal 2013, which factored into the decision to increase revenue through five percent increases in Metro fare. A victory for all is seen in the decision to no longer increase “peak-of-the-peak” rates by 20 cents across the board during rush hour.
Discounted fares for students, however, remained the same. Moral of the story: stay a student, forever. Hoya Saxa. Although this only applies to elementary and secondary school students in D.C., so in that case, Hoya Saxa anyway?
Photo by Flickr user through Creative Commons
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A movie theater turned CVS in Brookland
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will discuss a proposal on Thursday night that would allow 187 DC CVS pharmacies to sell SmarTrip cards. The cards would run $10 each ($5 for the card itself, and $5 of Metro cash so you can ride right away without putting any more money on). WMATA’s General Counsel recommends approving the proposal, which releases CVS from liability for any problems, so it looks like it’ll pass.
Considering the ridiculous lines to buy a Metro card at the Gallery Place-Chinatown stop after last night’s basketball game, plenty of Georgetown students haven’t managed to get their hands on a SmarTrip card yet. With three CVS locations within walking distance of campus, there will be even less of a reason not to buy.
Photo from Flickr user NCinDC used under a Creative Commons license
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Prepare to say goodbye to paper bus transfers–WMATA will be scrapping those on January 4th. “Bus drivers will no longer hand out paper transfers, and machines that dispense paper rail-to-bue transfers inside Metro stations will be removed,” DCist’s Sommer Mathis writes.
Cathy Asato, a spokesperson for WMATA, says this decision will save them about $350,000 a year and encourage WMATA users to purchase SmarTrip cards. DCist says to expect homeless advocates to raise clamor in the near future, but Asato insisted that WMATA isn’t penalizing anyone, especially when you consider that SmarTrip cards are cheaper.
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Losing your GOCard sucks. You can’t get into your dorm, the library, Leo’s, or anywhere else on campus that matters. Non-college student D.C. residents will soon get the same feeling when the One Card–a new centralized identification system which will be their library card, public school attendance sheet, rec center pass, and more –spreads its mark of the Beast all over the District.
At first I was a little freaked out by the 1984-ishness of the new card, but then I remembered how excited I got when I found out that the new GOCards come with SmartTrip.
Plus, the ACLU gives it the thumbs up, and as people better at spotting threats to civil liberties than me, I’ll believe them when they say the One Card doesn’t infringe on privacy. Hopefully the city will ignore Georgetown’s lesson and not charge $25 for a replacement.
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