Unfortunately, the lower fares won’t go into effect until the end of summer.

The board that governs the WMATA transportation system has voted for a new plan that extends service and lowers fares on trains and buses in the District. The announcement is welcome news to businesses that had problems hiring in the past year due to restricted operating hours. Lower fares won’t go into effect until after Labor Day, but the Metro will begin increasing service hours in July. The plan also adds more trains and buses to routes to decrease wait times.

Fare changes won’t go into effect until fall, presumably to bring in revenue during the busy tourist season. After Labor Day, riders on Metrorail will only pay a flat fare of $2 per day on weekends and transfers between buses and trains will be free all the time. A seven-day regional bus pass will go from $15 to $12. The bus-to-rail fee will save riders who need to use multiple lines of transportation at least $2 per day. WMATA hopes to lure more people into the city on weekends with the low flat fee.

Courtesy Christa Emmer

To increase the flow of passengers and make public transportation more attractive, WMATA will be increasing the frequency for trains and buses. Beginning in September, trains will run every six minutes on the red line and every 12 minutes on all other lines, seven days a week during off-peak hours. During peak hours, trains will run every five minutes on the red line and every 10 minutes on every other line. In July, trains will run until midnight seven days a week, moving to 1 a.m. on weekends in September.

Metrobus riders will also see increased service in September, with 20 lines running every 12 minutes and 16 lines running every 20 minutes. More than 46 bus routes that were canceled or decreased during the pandemic will also be restored in September.

Will this rate decrease encourage you to increase the times you make it into the District? Share your thoughts in the comments.