Metro will expand service and reduce fares starting Sunday

Starting on Sunday, Metro will be adding more trains and buses, extending train service on the weekends and lowering fares, the transit agency announced last month.

Metro said it is implementing the changes to make “riding easier and more convenient” as people return to school and work.

“This is a time of change for Metro and our customers, and it’s an opportunity to make our service work better for all riders whether they take Metro to work, the grocery store, visit family or friends or just get around town,” said Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg in a news release.

Among the changes, Metro will:

  • Add more buses on the busiest lines to better serve customers throughout the day.
  • Reduce average wait times for buses during the day.
  • Restore more service that had been suspended due to the pandemic.
  • Provide free bus transfers between rail and discounted passes.

Meanwhile, on Metrorail, more trains will run during off-peak hours, with average wait times of between two to seven minutes any time of day. Trains will also run longer, close later overnight on weekends and open earlier on Sundays.

The Metro system will stay open an hour later — until 1 a.m. — on Fridays and Saturdays and open an hour earlier — at 7 a.m. — on Sundays.

“We are also making Metro the best way to go on weekends, with less wait times for trains and just $2 for a one-way trip anywhere on the rail system,” Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld said in the news release.

The service improvements will bring overall bus and rail service back to near pre-pandemic levels, providing 97% of pre-COVID service levels on Metrobus and 91% on Metrorail. On some bus routes and off-peak rail hours, Metro said the service will be even better than it had been before the pandemic.

Metro will also offer up to a 50% discount on selected unlimited pass products between Sept. 16 and Oct. 15.

The transit agency has been hit hard by the pandemic and the drop in commuters. Smedberg has said he hopes these incentives will lure riders back to the system.

More information on the changes can be found online.

Anna Gawel

Anna Gawel joined WTOP in 2020 and works in both the radio and digital departments. Anna Gawel has spent much of her career as the managing editor of The Washington Diplomat, which has been the flagship publication of D.C.’s diplomatic community for over 25 years.

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