Metro considers charging more to ride during major events

WASHINGTON — Metro could charge riders more to ride on weekends or holidays when the rail system runs extra service to carry large crowds.

While Metro typically has major service disruptions on weekends and holidays, the agency is proposing charging peak fares to riders on days where there are large events that lead to Metro providing extra service with limited track work.

The agency is proposing charging the higher fares on days like Independence Day or for less common regional events that draw significant crowds like the Women’s March in January 2017 or the March for Our Lives earlier this year.

“Ridership demand during regional events is strong, requiring peak service levels,” documents prepared for a Metro Board committee ahead of a Thursday meeting said.

According to Metro, providing a full day of regular rush-hour service adds operational and support costs that could be partly covered by higher fares.

Metro already charged peak fares on Inauguration Day.

The agency is also considering asking for sponsors to pay to keep fares at off-peak levels for specific events.

Metro has provided significant advertising for groups who have provided deposits or other considerations to keep the system running late for events like Washington Nationals and Capitals playoff games.

Peak fares currently range from $2.25 to $6.00 depending on the length of a trip, while off-peak fares range from $2 to $3.85.

Metro is also considering permanently implementing parking fees on weekends and holidays or on days where large crowds are expected.

If the Metro Board advances the proposal for peak fares during special events, it would be part of the public hearing on parking fee increases that is expected to be held in coming weeks.

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