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Glitch gives Metro riders discount

Fare & fee changes | Fare calculator | Fare hikes hit all riders

A software glitch on the first day of Metro's new, higher fares, allowed riders using paper fare cards at 34 stations to enter for the old fare on Sunday.

Metro technicians discovered the problem early Sunday morning, said Reggie Woodruff, a Metro spokesman. The last fare gate was fixed by 2 p.m., when all stations were charging the higher fare. SmarTrip cards were charged the correct fare throughout the day.

Rail fares increased about 18 percent overall, with the peak rail boarding fare going from $1.65 to $1.95. The bus boarding charge increased 20 percent, from $1.25 to $1.50 for SmarTrip users and from $1.35 to $1.70 for cash customers.

Woodruff said it was still unclear why the software, recently added to fare gates in the 34 stations to upgrade the transit agency's fare collection system, failed to charge the higher amount.

"We anticipated that there might be glitches," he said. "With all the programming we did for so many stations, it was bound to happen."

The changes that took effect Sunday are part of an extensive plan to help Metro close a $189 million budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Implementing the increase was a complicated electronic challenge because Metro only had about 30 days to test and implement the fare hikes across its extensive bus and rail system.

On Aug. 1, a second round of fare increases will affect customers who travel on the rail system during its busiest times. That's when the so-called "peak of the peak" fare takes effect, adding 20 cents to the cost of trips. Rail customers who use paper fare cards will also be charged 25 cents more. MetroAccess customers will see another increase in the fall.

-- Lisa Rein

By Michael Bolden  | June 27, 2010; 8:01 PM ET
Categories:  Blue Line, Commuting, Metro, Orange Line, Red Line, Silver Line, Yellow Line  
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Where is the specific fare information on the senior Metrorail card, please?

Posted by: sbuck | June 27, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like less of a glitch and more of someone not doing their job.

Posted by: steampunk | June 28, 2010 6:38 AM | Report abuse

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